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SBIR/STTR

Color-XHDR - A Compact High-Speed Color Extreme High Dynamic Range Video Capability for Rocket Engine Testing, Phase II

Active Technology Project

Project Introduction

Innovative Imaging and Research proposes to develop a 21st Century color, high-speed extreme high dynamic range (Color-XHDR) video recording technology that will produce engineering-grade video to accurately document rocket motor firings at close range within a test cell without image saturation. This novel imaging system will include a compact, single focal plane array camera and end-to-end image processing software to produce, high quality, low noise, high-speed video not currently possible with today's technology. The compact camera will be compatible with existing SSC camera housing and acquired imagery will be stored off-camera to prevent loss of information in the event of a mishap. The system will be able to record entire test sequences at >250 fps lasting up to 45 minutes. Most importantly, the system will produce XHDR (>120 dB dynamic range) HD format (1080p or larger) imagery so that relatively dark test cell infrastructure and test article hardware will be visible alongside exhaust plumes that may also contain ultrabright molten material. The imagery will be calibrated to provide engineering information such as radiance, color temperature and particle trajectories. Stereo calibration will enable multiple cameras to provide accurate 3-D XHDR image products. Rocket engine certification ground testing requires clear visual high-speed video recording that can capture essential information for NASA during rocket engine certification ground testing. This need is particularly true in the event of a mishap, when investigations into the underlying cause ensue. This technology can avoid common limitations of typical cameras such as image saturation, rolling shutter image wobble, camera geometric distortion, and no off-board storage, which makes it nearly impossible to obtain critical information in catastrophic situations that result in the loss of a camera. More »

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