Oram Embedded Technology     Real-Time and Embedded Systems Software Development

Cardax FT Digital Camera

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 Controller.

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.

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© 2006 Oram Embedded Technology Ltd.