DURHAM – Researchers at Duke University continue to develop new technologies with versatile uses.

Associate Research Professor at Duke, Daniel Marks, says his team has been working for several years on a new kind of camera.

“My main project right now actually is to build giga-pixel cameras, we have been almost four years into a project and what we do is make really high resolution, really wide angle instruments so we can for instance image an entire football field to two or three millimeters resolution” Marks says.

This new giga-pixel camera uses complex optics and hundred of micro-camera to create a wide-angle snapshot. Other cameras have had pictures that are a giga-pixel in size, but Marks says the most unique feature to their camera is that it is all one snapshot.

“What we have aimed to do is, our camera literally takes a snapshot, and it’s a single giga-pixel image, currently it’s about a tenth of a second so you really see a single instant in time” Marks states.

Their newest camera was built only a few months ago and has a 100 degree by 30 degree camera angle.  The giga-pixel camera research is currently funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency with the intention to help protect soldiers in the field and identify threats from afar.  Marks says they took this into consideration when designing camera to take wide-angle photographs.

“It became likely to be used for terrestrial imaging, for imaging on the ground, and if you have a wide-angle camera you find out your mostly taking pictures of the sky and ground so it doesn’t really make sense to have a vertical field of view that’s really large”  Marks says.

Currently, in a test done with the camera, Marks found that their camera can see boats five times farther away than the ones the military uses.  The research being done on this camera can be useful for many other applications as well.  The camera has potential uses in sporting games, but Marks says some of the optical design in the giga-pixel camera can benefit telescopes and help further other academic research.

“I think there would be applications for astronomy, I think versions of this are possible that would greatly increase the amount of sky we can survey, and therefore not just for looking for dangerous objects, but also for interesting science” Marks says.

Marks and his team have tested out this camera at the Duke vs. UNC football game and produced some high quality pictures available online.

To view the pictures Daniel Marks has take with his camera click here.

For more information click here.