A UK-France collaboration has won €1.68m to speed their development of a gigapixel-resolution camera suitable for aerial surveillance applications.
IMAO and Resolve Optics have been funded via the EU’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument scheme.
Limoges-based IMAO, which specialises in high-quality aerial imagery captured by its fleet of eleven aircraft, is partnering with high-specification lens maker Resolve Optics on the project.
They won support via the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Phase 2 funding scheme, which provides grants to small and medium-sized enterprises for near-to-market development.
Thanks to the funding for the Aerial BCP2 project, the two firms are set to improve the resolution of their current 660-megapixel camera prototype to the gigapixel level.
Resolve Optics said in a company release: ‘Using ultra-large-format, low-distortion lenses custom-designed by Resolve Optics, IMAO was able to create a prototype aerial surveillance camera. Its patented design, which associates three optical chambers, a matrix of sensors, and three ultra-large-format lenses, represents a disruptive development in the field of aerial data acquisition.’
The two companies say that the prototype camera is already capable of producing images up to three times larger than the standard image size generated by other large-format cameras on the market.
It is able to deliver higher-quality images for use on Google Maps, construction sites and other mapping and surveillance projects.
Among the other photonics companies to win support via the SME Instrument scheme in recent months are Poland-based SDS Optics, which is developing components for cancer detection, and Spain’s Voptica, whose ‘visual adaptive optics’ simulator is said to allow patients to experience the effect of intraocular lenses or laser surgery on their vision before the actual operation.