Aqueti cameras capture and Aqueti servers display images of unprecedented scale and depth. The number of pixels resolved is the most common measure of image quality, but these pixels are of little use unless they are well exposed and focused and unless they are presented on displays with sufficient resolution. Aqueti addresses these challenges with three core technologies:
1. Multiscale array cameras, as disclosed in US Patent 8,259,212 and additional patents pending, allow Aqueti cameras to capture 10 to 100 times as many pixels as conventional cameras
2. Local focus and exposure control ensures that high quality data is captures in each subsection of the image
3. Mobile image apps allow engaging distribution of high pixel count images
Aqueti’s qG array camera uses 34 microcameras, each including a 14 megapixel sensor, to resolve a 250 megapixel image. Each microcamera captures a small section of the field of view of the spherical objective lens. By mounting the microcameras on a spherical focal surface, the objective lens design is greatly simplified compared to conventional lenses with comparable resolution and field of view and most geometric aberrations are eliminated. Chromatic and secondary aberrations are further reduced in the local optical components of each microcamera. Aqueti uses custom optical and electronic packaging to tightly package microcamera arrays. The photo below shows a single microcamera lens barrel on the left and a microcamera sensor package on the right. The block in the center is a microcamera control module used to read-out and initially process image data.
A large aperture objective lens is needed to achieve high resolution. In multiscale array cameras, each microcamera views a different portion of the image field through a shared objective lens. This allows Aqueti to capture the field of regard and resolution of a large camera array in the system volume of a single camera.
Aqueti uses gigagon lenses as the objective. A gigagon is a multilayer spherical balls lens designed to reduce chromatic and spherical aberration while delivering large aperture images to spherical focal surfaces. The AWARE 10 gigagon lens is shown below.
While high performance spherical optics have been used over 150 years, these lenses have not previously found wide application because it is difficult or impossible to refocus a spherical lens on multiple object ranges. The multiscale array architecture, as illustrated below, overcomes this problem by integrating large arrays of microcameras on a spherical dome surrounding the gigagon lens. Each microcamera may be individually focused on objects within its narrow field of view. Typically, a microcamera observes only 2-7 degrees out of a 50-120 degree field. Aqueti macrocameras incorporate patent pending focal mechanisms and microcamera integration and alignment technologies to achieve this task. Frame rate and exposure is also independently controlled.
Of course Aqueti’s high resolution, high depth of field and high dynamic range images are of little use without a display mechanism. As illustrated in our portfolio, http://aqueti.com/portfolio, Aqueti images are most satisfyingly viewed on interactive interfaces. Aqueti server applications enable the vibrant display and image exploration.