Flying high

USB 3 uEye CP and USB 2 uEye LE cameras in remote sensing

USB 3 uEye CP and USB 2 uEye LE cameras in remote sensing

From above the world seems to be a different place. Undreamt-of possibilities open up – also for image processing. Our Japanese customer Hokkaido Satellite utilizes this in remote sensing. The company uses USB 3 uEye CP and USB 2 uEye LE cameras from IDS as an image sensor in their hyperspectral cameras, which can monitor large areas of farmland and forests when fixed e.g. to satellites.

Conventional cameras divide the visible light into three components – red, green and blue – and produce images with different combinations of these colors. Hyperspectral cameras can detect further wavelengths, even those invisible to our eyes, and make them visible. Details appear that a normal camera cannot show. They can be used in many different industrial fields, for example in the inspection of semiconductors to detect foreign substances, in quality inspection for food (meat, fish, vegetables, rice, wheat etc.) or in the medical field to differentiate cancer cells from healthy cells, or to visualize blood vessels.

USB 3 uEye CP and USB 2 uEye LE cameras in remote sensing undung

Another broad field of application is agriculture and forestry e.g. for early detection of plant diseases. The hyperspectral system of Hokkaido Satellite has been developed especially for this sector. While flying over chosen agricultural areas and woodland the IDS USB 3 uEye CP and USB 2 uEye LE cameras come into use. After the image is captured, the necessary line from the frame data is extracted and the hyperspectral data can be constructed. With help from the corresponding software the camera and system settings can be adjusted quickly to dark or bright environmental conditions. The programming of this function is very easy with the uEye API, which is part of the IDS camera package. With the suitable image analyzing software and the constructed hyperspectral data the captured images can be evaluated. Questions concerning the status of plant growth and the existence of foreign substances can be answered easily.

For selecting the right cameras for their application Hokkaido Satellite attached importance to three points: cost-effective, space-saving and equipped with a reliable SDK. For integrating the cameras into their system, the company used the already described uEye API. The possibilities of the specific sensor settings exceeded all expectations: “They have various sample programs and we can compress time for development”, one of the designers explained. Combined with the fast and competent support and reliable delivery times Hokkaido Satellite has found the appropriate cameras for their application.

The sooner diseases of agricultural crops are detected – ideally before they break out visibly – the better and more focused they can be treated. The use of plant protection products can be reduced. This is good for the environment and saves the farmers´ money; a real win-win situation due to the possibilities of image processing.

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