Future EVAs need to support high resolution imagery with ultra compact, low-power, high definition (HD) cameras and low loss compressed digital data output for radio frequency (RF) transmissions or IP networks. Hemispherical and dynamic cameras are desired for EVAs, where the hemispherical cameras take 360-degrees video of a crewmember, distorting (wrapping) the views through optics and then undistorting (unwrapping) those views via software on the ground to pan /zoom for total situational awareness. The proposed novel optical unwrapping technology would lead to ultra-compact, low-power, light weight, and high resolution hemispherical dynamic camera (HDC) for EVAs. The proposed novel optical unwrapping technology can also be used to design high performance cameras with different field of views (such as panoramic or wide FOV) for other NASA applications.
In addition to applications to NASA space missions, break-through in Neo360 optical unwrapping technology could have wide-spread commercial applications in various commercial products for diversified markets/segments, such as: * Cell phone cameras: compact, light weight and low-power optical unwrapping cameras. * Video surveillance: wide-FOV video camera for target detection and tracking. * Automobile: novel designs of the rear view cameras or rear view mirrors. * Medical device: endoscopes and laparoscopes for minimally invasive surgeries. * Robotics: Neo360 design techniques could lead to novel compact imaging sensors for robots.