Monday, February 14, 2011

A tough environment for a camera

One of my goals for this blog is to share application stories. I do this in the belief that we can all learn from projects that others have carried out, which is why I offer up “scout GigE Cameras Used for Cargo Train Fault Detection System.”

The scout, for those who don’t know, is a family of GigE area scan cameras from Basler. In fact it’s a rather large family – “40 different models” the web site tells me – and I have to wonder if so much variety is really a good thing. But leaving that to one side, the application story is interesting. This describes a system that uses multiple cameras to acquire images of rolling stock wheels as a train passes over track-mounted cameras. (Images are reviewed manually; there’s no automatic defect recognition.)

I just wonder, as I look out on the piles of snow that line my driveway, how durable such a system will be. It has to cope with a variety of weather conditions – rain, sunlight, heat, and of course, vibration from the passing trains. If the cameras can survive more than a few months it will be a great testament to the quality of Basler’s engineering.

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