Low cost high speed digital cameras for experimental fluid mechanics

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Scientific high-speed digital cameras are essential for many experimental techniques in fluid mechanics. Their high cost is a major constraint on the capability and accessibility of flow diagnostic facilities. Advances in semiconductor manufacturing in recent decades have led to order of magnitude gains in the performance of the sensors used in these cameras. However, due to the small size of the market and the need for customisation and flexibility in design, the scientific camera market has not experienced the order-of-magnitude price decreases seen in the consumer sector. Recent supply side changes in the Chinese electronics market have led to an explosion of niche crowd-funded electronics. The impact of this shift in the electronics industry has not yet been fully appreciated, but it is now beginning to impact the scientific research community. In this paper, we present a technical overview and performance assessment of one of the first custom built crowd-funded scientific cameras, the Chronos 1.4. It is a low cost high-speed camera based on a Luxima LUX1310 CMOS sensor package. It has 1280 × 1024 pixels at 6.6 μm pitch with a 1.2 μs global shutter, a bandwidth of 1.4 Gpix/s, flexible external triggering, and an open source development toolchain. It is capable of over 1000 frames/s (full sensor) and 38,565 frames/s with reduced field of view (336 × 96 pixels). We assess the performance of the Chronos 1.4 with a well-characterised stroboscopic LED light source. Under the same conditions and with an identical optical setup, the Chronos 1.4 compares favourably to two other scientific high-speed cameras. The small pixel pitch makes it ideal for highly magnified measurements. The low cost (USD $3k) and relatively small footprint is also ideal for multi-camera experiments and as an educational aid. We demonstrate its application in two experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 21st Australasian Fluid Mechanics Conference
EditorsTimothy C.W. Lau, Richard M. Kelso
Place of PublicationPerth WA Australia
PublisherAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Society
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9780646597843
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Conference 2018 - Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 10 Dec 201813 Dec 2018
Conference number: 21st
http://www.afms.org.au/proceedings/21.html (Proceedings)


ConferenceAustralasian Fluid Mechanics Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleAFMC 2018
Internet address

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