streak camera
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streak camera

K008 streak camera. Evolution of features. Part I

Slit image linear sweep mode is one of the key features of streak cameras. This mode allows for the registration of high-speed processes at high resolution, both in time and space, that is fundamentally unachievable in frame mode, when time is registered discretely. However, the price for continuity of time registration is the loss of one spatial coordinate, which is reasonable in those fairly frequent cases where high temporal resolution is one of the most important requirements.

High-speed imaging technique developed particularly rapidly in the 80s of the 20th century. At that time in Russia high-speed streak cameras of Agat series (size ~903x202x388 mm, weight ~30 kg, power consumption ~100 VA) were developed and widely used. Their large size and power consumption, the lack of digital processing of measurement data, demanded the development of more modern and compact camera that would combine the parameters dictated by the needs of not only laboratory tests that require extremely high temporal resolution, but also would be suitable for use in unsteady conditions. In response to these requirements in the early 2000s a K008 camera was created.

Specifications of the K008 were quite consistent with the world standards for the cameras of its class, while having substantially lower weight and size. It had manual control of hardware nodes, but the software was quite developed and had sufficiently wide range of functions for processing and numerical analysis of acquired images. This high-speed camera have gained a well-deserved popularity and was in demand for more than a decade by both domestic and foreign customers.

During the production period the K008 was subject to partial modernization: a completely new CCD sensor was introduced, the range of available sweeps was extended by means of a newly developed millisecond control unit, which was employed in order to record processes in the plasma of TOKAMAK fusion plants. The camera software was constantly improving too.

Modern trends in development of experimental techniques raise new requirements for streak cameras to match modern level of experiment automation. Leading research laboratories and institutions are usually equipped with very complex hardware and software systems, allowing for centralized equipment control, as well as data processing and storage.

These requirements caused the need for further modernization of the K008 camera. The result of this modernization has been the K008 Smart camera, which is a significantly improved version of the K008 camera in terms of enhanced functionality and the service provided. There had been much work on substantial revision of all camera hardware, and as a result the basis was formed which allows for the implementation of new imaging modes, methods of synchronization with the process in study and means of digital control of the camera. The software was also subjected to substantial modernization, in terms of both improving image processing techniques and introducing the means of automated control.

The features of the K008 Smart camera will be covered in more detail in the next parts.