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Virtual Frame Technique: Ultrafast Imaging with Any Camera

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posted on 2023-11-29, 05:03 authored by Sam Dillavou, Shmuel M Rubinstein, John M Kolinski
Many phenomena of interest in nature and industry occur rapidly and are difficult and cost-prohibitive to visualize properly without specialized cameras. Here we describe in detail the Virtual Frame Technique (VFT), a simple, useful, and accessible form of compressed sensing that increases the frame acquisition rate of any camera by several orders of magnitude by leveraging its dynamic range. VFT is a powerful tool for capturing rapid phenomenon where the dynamics facilitate a transition between two states, and are thus binary. The advantages of VFT are demonstrated by examining such dynamics in five physical processes at unprecedented rates and spatial resolution: fracture of an elastic solid, wetting of a solid surface, rapid fingerprint reading, peeling of adhesive tape, and impact of an elastic hemisphere on a hard surface. We show that the performance of the VFT exceeds that of any commercial high speed camera not only in rate of imaging but also in field of view, achieving a 65MHz frame rate at 4MPx resolution. Finally, we discuss the performance of the VFT with several commercially available conventional and high-speed cameras. In principle, modern cell phones can achieve imaging rates of over a million frames per second using the VFT.

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