Image Engineering has developed a huge variety of components for camera test stands over the past years. A whole range of products has been constructed from simple chart holders to fully automated production line solutions. Now these components have been put together to form a modular system that can easily be customized for individual requirements. Every customer can configure his own test stand according to his needs. If there is a missing part it can be filled in without constructing a whole new solution. Therefore camera stands can be constructed faster and more cost efficient than ever before.
A camera test stand can be divided into the following basic parts.
For each of these parts Image Engineering offers a variety of solutions that can be composed into a complete stand.
|// CHART MOUNTING
For chart mounting we offer different versions from a simple wall and table mount through a horizontal sliding mount with integrating sphere holder to the manually operated iQ-ChartMount, a vertical sliding chart holder with integrating sphere support. The iQ-ChartMount is also available as a fully automated version. Currently only the vertical chart mount has the potential to be automated. If you choose the horizontal chart mount, the automation will not be possible using the current system.
iQ-ChartMount: vertical & horizontal
|// CAMERA TO CHART DISTANCE
We offer two different systems to adjust the chart camera distance. One is based on a traditional camera stand that consists of a rail and a studio stand with vertical camera adjustment. This system is for manual operation only and large distances can be covered. We use this system with a 28 m rail in our own lab in Cologne. The second one is the iQ-CameraBench a system based on a linear guide that can be motorized. In principle it can also cover large distances but it requires a certain height to be stable enough for larger cameras. It can also be operated manually.
iQ-CameraBench traditional camera stand
|// CAMERA POSITIONING
On the traditional camera stand the camera stand itself is used for vertical camera positioning and a special slide can be obtained if horizontal positioning is required. On the other system the special iQ-CameraMount is used for the vertical and horizontal (perpendicular to camera chart axis) camera movement.
|// CAMERA TO CHART ALIGNMENT
To align the camera to the chart the simplest way is to use a 3 way camera head with micro control. For automatic alignment our motorized iQ-CameraAlignRig can be used. This is able to turn the camera around pitch and yaw to align it to the chart. In combination with a live view output of the camera an automatic alignment to the chart is possible.
3 way camera head iQ-CameraAlignRig
| // CHART ILLUMINATION SOURCES
Four types of illumination sources are currently in our program. One is our LE6 based on halogen lamps to illuminate transparent charts. The other three are for reflective targets. They are tungsten halogen lamps that can be filtered to daylight conditions (with diffusor), fluorescent tubes with daylight characteristics (with diffusor) and our iQ-LightHead with various light sources that can be controlled from a computer using the USB interface. To illuminate test charts using the iQ-LightHeads two of these heads are needed, mounted on stands to achieve a uniform illumination.
fluorescent tubes tungsten halogen lamp
|// ILLUMINATION DIRECTIONS
The illumination can be mounted horizontally to illuminate the chart from the left and the right side. Another possibility is to mount the lights below and above the charts to save space. In the latter case the minimum distance of the camera to the chart and the uniformity of the illumination may be restricted by the geometrical limitations of the setup.
If the camera test stand is not set up in a special room it is necessary to cover it from stray light and other aspects of the surrounding environment by a housing. This should ideally be decoupled from the stand itself to prevent an impact on the measurement if somebody touches the housing. A housing will be constructed individually depending on the space requirements and limitations. It can have doors including an automatic power switch off in case somebody opens the door. A simple version of a housing is a framework covered by a tarpaulin.
The standard software Image Engineering delivers for camera testing is the iQ-Analyzer. The analysis can also be integrated in custom designed production line software or your own software by using the command line option. Since the automation usually requires interaction of the software with camera and test stand the software can individually be adapted to each camera. The motorized modules of the test stand are controlled using a USB interface and come with a SDK.
On request the stand can be equipped with additional accessories like positioning sensors, illumination measurement or computer with LCD touch panel.
Sample UI on an LCD touch pane
// AUTOMATION LIMITS
|MODULE||REQUIREMENT||If you want to automate the stand the horizontal chart mount and the traditional camera stand shall not be selected.
The iQ-CameraMount can not be combined with the traditional camera stand.
|automatic chart exchange||vertical iQ-ChartMount|
|automatic light source change||iQ-LightHead|
|automatic camera to chart distance adjustment||iQ-CameraBench|
|automatic camera to chart alignment||iQ-CameraAlign|