A High-Frame-Rate Vision System with Automatic Exposure Control

Qingyi GU  Abdullah AL NOMAN  Tadayoshi AOYAMA  Takeshi TAKAKI  Idaku ISHII  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E97-D   No.4   pp.936-950
Publication Date: 2014/04/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E97.D.936
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Image Recognition, Computer Vision
automatic exposure control,  high-frame-rate vision system,  hardware implementation,  

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In this paper, we present a high frame rate (HFR) vision system that can automatically control its exposure time by executing brightness histogram-based image processing in real time at a high frame rate. Our aim is to obtain high-quality HFR images for robust image processing of high-speed phenomena even under dynamically changing illumination, such as lamps flickering at 100 Hz, corresponding to an AC power supply at 50 / 60 Hz. Our vision system can simultaneously calculate a 256-bin brightness histogram for an 8-bit gray image of 512×512 pixels at 2000 fps by implementing a brightness histogram calculation circuit module as parallel hardware logic on an FPGA-based high-speed vision platform. Based on the HFR brightness histogram calculation, our method realizes automatic exposure (AE) control of 512×512 images at 2000 fps using our proposed AE algorithm. The proposed AE algorithm can maximize the number of pixels in the effective range of the brightness histogram, thus excluding much darker and brighter pixels, to improve the dynamic range of the captured image without over- and under-exposure. The effectiveness of our HFR system with AE control is evaluated according to experimental results for several scenes with illumination flickering at 100 Hz, which is too fast for the human eye to see.