The second Axiom Alpha prototype unit, now containing a full grade image sensor, is complete and ready for further calibration testing. Please remember that this prototype- housed in a custom enclosure made from laser cut acrylic glass and a wooden base to provide the assembly with greater strength around the tripod mounting plate- is a proof of concept, designed to test the electronics and allow us to capture images in the same manner as with a real camera, under proper lighting conditions using a 'perfect' sensor. The current housing does not represent the physical assembly that the Axiom will incorporate when finished.
This second axiom alpha prototype (which we are referring to as the 'boxed' version) is mobile and can be used much more like an actual camera. When compared with our first prototype, it has the following features/changes:
- Two PMOD debug modules on the back
- Big cooling fan and fan control
- All voltages are now monitored
- Additional buffer capacitors were added
- A base plate for mounting on a tripod
The large cooling fan might suggest that this entire unit is one big heat turbine, but in actuality, the bigger the fan, the slower it can be allowed to turn when operating. This leads to lower audible noise levels, and while the Zedboard and our image sensor generate relatively small heat signatures, we want to measure the extent to which visual noise levels in the CMOSIS CMV12000 sensor are affected by the level of applied cooling. So far in our tests, we've determined that the image sensor may heat up to around 42°C without any cooling. When the fan is turned on, we can lower this reading to approximately 7°C above room temperature.
The following images have been captured with the new CMV12000 full grade sensor attached to our second Axiom alpha prototype. As you will immediately notice, there are no defective pixel areas in the image anymore. But keep in mind that we are still working on colour balancing and fixed pattern noise filtering amongst other things, so this is not the final image quality to expect: