INRS researchers’ UV-CUP billed as world’s fastest UV camera
Canadian camera capable of capturing ultraviolet photons in real time.
According to team leader, INRS professor Jinyang Liang, UV-CUP captures images at light speed through a blend of unique hardware and software. Working with Québec’s Axis Photonique Inc., a manufacturer of ultrafast imaging equipment, the team designed the system to use a patterned photocathode that simultaneously detects and encodes “black light”.
“Like a standard camera, our technology is passive,” explains Liang. “It does not produce light; it receives it. Therefore, our photocathode had to be sensitive to the photons emitted as UV light. This design makes our technique a stand-alone system that can be easily integrated into various experimental platforms.”Once an image is captured it has to be reconstructed as a video, Liang says. For this, the team collaborated with Boston University to developed a new algorithm, that improves on standard algorithms by dividing the process into smaller individual problems rather than one lump sum.
Now that it’s complete, the INRS team says the UV-CUP camera will be sent to the SOLEIL Synchrotron research laboratory in France where it may be used to capture laser-plasma generation, a phenomena used to deduce material properties, and in medical imaging to identify disease biomarkers.