OCT 19, 2018 06:12 PM PDT

World's Fastest Camera Captures 10 Trillion Frames Per Second in a Single Shot

The ultrafast camera (INRS)

Capturing the swift passing of light in a scattering medium, such as human tissues,  has a lot of potentials in biomedical imaging. But the existing instruments aren't fast enough to record such transient events in real time.

In a recent publication, scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and L’Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS) reported that they had developed a new imaging instrument called the single-shot Trillion-frame-per-second Compressed Ultrafast Photography, or T-CUP for short.

Officially the world’s fastest camera, T-CUP can capture one trillion (one thousand billion) frames per second, which is more than the doubles of the speed of the last record holder, a device from Sweden.

T-CUP is powered by a data acquisition method called Radon transformation. It uses a beam splitter to split a 3D spatiotemporal image to two duplicates. The first one is recorded by a 2D imaging sensor to provide a continuous view. The second image is spatially encoded and temporally separated into multiple individual frames a spatial axis. These frames are then recorded with another 2D imaging sensor to form a time-sheared view. By combining the two views, T-CUP records a 3D dynamic scattering event into two 2D projections using only a single exposure.

Commenting on the idea behind their ultrafast camera, Lihong Wang, the senior author of the study and an engineering professor at Caltech said: “We knew that by using only a femtosecond streak camera, the image quality would be limited. So to improve this, we added another camera that acquires a static image. Combined with the image acquired by the femtosecond streak camera, we can use what is called a Radon transformation to obtain high-quality images while recording ten trillion frames per second.”

The ultra-fast camera has numerous potential applications including helping physicists to investigate the space-time duality (a mechanism that underpins the nature of light), and improving the technologies used in microscopy and non-invasive diagnostic imaging.

Imaging at a trillion frames per second | Ramesh Raskar (TED)

Source: ZME Science

About the Author
  • With years of experience in biomedical R & D, Daniel is also very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles.
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