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Accom WSD/HDi Records Super-HD Camera (20/12/2004)

Florida Atlantic University's (FAU) Imaging Technology Space Center (ITSC) is using Accom's WSD/HDi digital disk recorder for development and testing work on a new generation of ultra-high definition cameras. The Quad HD-Max camera has a resolution four times that of conventional high-definition cameras, and is being jointly developed with NASA, the U.S. Navy and Panavision.

The ITSC specializes in digital imaging research and development for applications in science, manufacturing, and the motion picture and digital video industries. The Quad HD-Max is expected to be commercially available in 2005, and will be used for surveillance, telemedicine including robotic procedures, inspection, education and entertainment.

The ITSC project team uses Accom's WSD/HDi to record output from the camera in two simultaneous SMPTE 292 1.5 Gigabit serial streams. The two channels convey 30p Bayer pattern video formatted so that each channel appears as 1920 x 1080 60i video.

"We then play back the twin signals from the WSD/HDi through our proprietary processor to recombine them into the full resolution 3840 x 2160 image," explained Project Manager John Marcinka.

Accom's WSD/HDi provides uncompressed storage for standard and high definition video, with a feature set designed for versatility and easy integration into a wide variety of working situations. WSD/HDi's automated clip handling, comprehensive range of formats and built-in storage array make it a rugged and flexible high-performance solution for applications in science, entertainment and event presentation.

"We've demonstrated the camera with the WSD/HDi for the Navy in Manhattan and offshore on coral reefs, shooting underwater with it," said John Marcinka. "We've tried other recorders, but what we liked about the WSD/HDi was its robustness and the very well designed user interface. It has had to perform in a variety of testing environments, and be quick and easy to work with. Clearly in developing a camera like this, the image quality we get is also very important, and the WSD/HDi is an excellent platform for faithfully delivering an exact representation of what the camera is doing."

During 2004 the camera is being qualified for use in high-altitude and space operations by NASA, and a variant will be developed for Navy surveillance and inspection applications on aircraft carriers and in drone aircraft. For the FAU's new Center of Excellence in Biomedical and Marine Biotechnology a camera will be interfaced with a submersible and used for scientific observation of the oceans.

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