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Fri May 30 12:03:08 2008
Head to head comparison of cameras
Andrey and myself - Joseph B. - have examined the output of the GC650 (CCD) and GC750 (CMOS) prosilica cameras. We did several live motion tests (i.e. rotate the turning mirror, move and rotate the camera, etc) and also used a microscope slide to try to eliminate back reflections and interference.
Both the GC650 and GC750 produce dark lines in the images, some of which look parallel, while others are in much stranger shapes, such as circles and arcs.
Moving the GC750 camera physically, we have the spot moving around, with the dark lines appearing to be fixed to the camera itself, and remain in the same location on the detector. I.e. coming back to the same spot keeps showing a circle. In reasonably well behaved sections, these lines are about 10% dips in power, and could in principle be subtracted out. Its possible that the camera was damaged with too much light incident in the past, although going back to the pmc_trans images that were taken, similar lines are still visible.
Moving the GC650 camera physically seems to change the position of the lines (if one also rotates the turning mirror to get to the same spot on the CCD). It seems as if a slight change in angle has a large effect on these dark bands, which can either be thin, or very large, bordering on the size of the spot size. My guess is (as the vendor suggested) the light is interacting with the electronics behind the surface layer rather than a surface defect producing these lines. Using a microscope slide in between the turning mirror and the GC650, we were able to produce new fringes, but didn't affect the underlying ones.
Placing a microscope slide in between the last turning mirror and the GC750 does not affect the dark lines (although it does seem to add some), nor does turning the final turning mirror, so it seems unlikely to be caused by back reflection in this case.
So it seems the CMOS may be more consistent, although we need to determine if the current line problems are due to exposure to too much light at some point in the past (i.e. I broke it) or they come that way from the factory.
Attached are the results of image-processing of the images from the two our cameras using Andrey's new Matlab script.
Uploaded Fri May 30 19:31:53 2008