Four camera system delivered to test Bloodhound

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Stemmer Imaging has delivered a four camera system for testing on on the Bloodhound Super Sonic car as the engineering team continues to develop the vehicle for its world land speed record attempt. The camera system is one of several that are planned in total and will initially be used in conjunction with other engineering sensors to observe what is happening around the vehicle during testing. These trials will also enable an evaluation to be made of the optimum placement of the cameras in the chassis.

The system features four colour GigE cameras that are all streaming HD resolution colour video in real time to an Adlink EOS embedded vision system equipped with an Intel core i7 processor. The four independent GigE ports can provide data transfer rates up to 4.0 Gb/s. In order to deal with the high volume of data generated, a custom version of the Gecko recording software has been developed to perform the real-time video compression.

Gecko automatically starts up when the system is powered up, connects to the cameras and starts recording video from the cameras to video files. The video is encoded directly to an MJPG format rather than using standard AVI to give improved speed and reliability. The MJPG compressor has been written to make use of the quad-core i7 to enhance throughput and to be fault tolerant. In the event of a power failure or an unexpected mid-stream hardware failure, the video remains intact.

The system also provides for some digital output signals from the embedded PC to be integrated with the rest of the bloodhound management system. This allows video recording to be started and stopped with the engine and provides sync signals from the video to the rest of the engine system.

The next phase of the system may involve even smaller cameras since some positions on the vehicle, such as the wing-tips, are very tight on space. High speed cameras may be used to provide more engineering information.

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