The Cardax FT Digital Camera is a fully digital security
camera that integrates tightly with the Cardax FT system. Images are
captured using a CMOS image sensor, processed by a Digital Signal
Processor (DSP) and transmitted to the head-end PC via the Cardax FT
The camera offers several unique features :
- The image is captured, stored and transmitted
digitally, making it simple to transfer images over the network and to
store images on the PC head-end. Any workstation connected to the
TCP/IP network can view live or stored images from a camera.
- The camera uses the same RS-485 wiring as the card
readers and other field units, making it easy to install in locations
where access control or monitoring is also installed.
- The camera has built in automatic motion detection and can detect motion in up to 10 separate rectangular regions.
- The camera continually stores images in a loop frame
buffer and when requested will send a certain number of frames from
before an alarm and a certain number from after an alarm, providing a
record of activity in the time around the alarm occurrence. Combined
with the Cardax FT Controller this allows the system to be configured
such that sequences of images are saved and transmitted to the head-end
PC (Cardax Command Centre FT) when an alarm occurs. The head-end PC
stores the images and links them to the alarms so that an operator can
easily locate the sequence of images related to any alarm.
The camera has three processors, a PIC microcontroller
that controls the CMOS image sensor, a DSP that performs the image
processing, and a Z180 microcontroller that provides housekeeping and
RS-485 communications to the FT Controller.
My work on this project has involved programming the
code download software on the Z180 (in assembler and C), some
programming of the DSP (in C), as well as developing the camera viewer
software for the head-end PC. The viewer is an ActiveX component
developed using C++ and ATL, which is used by both the Cardax Command
Centre FT software and a utility for installing the camera that I wrote
in Visual Basic.
This project was initially developed in association with Massey University's Department of Production Technology (now the Institute of Information Sciences and Technology) as part of a New Zealand government funded TBG (Technology for Business Growth) project (see Technology New Zealand, which is part of the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, for details of similar current schemes) for which I was the project manager.
See Papers for a conference paper that describes the camera in more detail.