Most of the electronics team have gone on vacation, but progress is still being made in this area. Inserted below is the first image shot with the actual camera that we will use in the experiment. It shows an oscilloscope stacked on a power supply, very interesting. As you can see, it is very over exposed and have a low bit depth, but this will soon be much better.
So, how do we get this image from the camera chip to the computer? The image below shows the camera chip to the right and another chip to the left. This PCB has memories to store the image and a kind of programmable logic chip called FPGA to communicate with the camera. All the wires between them are used to communicate and to send the image from the camera.
The image is captured by the FPGA and stored in a fast but small memory/buffer. This buffer then writes the image to the flash memories which is large but slow in comparison. Then a serial cable is used to read the image from the flash memories with help from the FPGA. This is read out in a terminal on the computer as HEX-code. This kind of communication is very slow and the first image was large, so this step took more than an hour! Then, the data has to be processed in Matlab to be interpreted as an image, rather than the HEX text we read from the memories.