October 16, 2023
Wide-angle field-of-view (FOV) cameras in the automotive industry play a crucial role in enhancing driver safety and situational awareness. These cameras provide an extended and panoramic view of the vehicle’s surroundings, reducing blind spots and improving visibility, especially in tight spaces and during maneuvers like parking or lane changes. This technology helps drivers detect pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles, minimizing the risk of accidents and collisions. Additionally, it aids in navigating complex traffic scenarios and assists with lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control systems, contributing to overall road safety and making driving a more controlled and secure experience.
An industry-leading manufacturer of active lens alignment equipment for production applications offers solutions to achieve optimal alignment with respect to the image sensor, ensuring the highest optical performance. These comprehensive systems comprise of multiple functional modules that are seamlessly integrated for the efficient production of wide field-of-view camera modules at mid to high volumes. Following the lens alignment process, the camera undergoes adhesive dispensing, curing, and subsequent quality and functional testing within the alignment tool as part of the assembly sequence. Their aim was to incorporate a versatile reference light source module capable of facilitating a wide range of camera performance tests, while also being adaptable to fit within the space limitations of the tester and durable enough to withstand the demanding conditions of production testing.
Labsphere was recommended to the automotive camera manufacturer by their customer, who recognized our expertise in calibration and reference test sources. The tester manufacturer then approached Labsphere with specific requirements: they sought a single source capable of uniformly illuminating the wide-angle field-of-view camera from all angles, while also generating various standard illuminant spectra at different levels of illumination. Figure 1 illustrates uniform radiance illumination. This durable source needed to seamlessly integrate into their tester module sequence, enabling them to conduct comprehensive testing, including blemish assessment, saturation testing, optical centration, relative illumination, edge shading, and more, following the lens alignment process.
The Tester Team tasked with integrating and deploying the light source solution faced a tight deadline to bring the lens active alignment tools online at the camera production facility. Labsphere’s FT-2200-W, specifically designed for testing wide-angle field-of-view cameras, proved to be a perfect fit, meeting all the necessary requirements. To expedite the implementation process, Labsphere collaborated closely with the Tester Team, conducting on-site demonstrations of the FT-2200-W and even lending the equipment for performance validation. To streamline automation, API command sets were provided for source control and triggering, and detailed dimensional drawings were supplied to aid in its seamless integration into the test module. Within a matter of months, Labsphere’s FT-2200-W was selected as the preferred test source module.
The integration of Labsphere’s FT-2200-W reference light source module into the automotive camera manufacturer’s lens active alignment tool proved to be a resounding success. This solution not only aligned with the manufacturer’s precise specifications but also played a pivotal role in optimizing their production testing procedure for wide-angle field-of-view cameras, especially as they scaled up their production volume. Labsphere’s close collaboration, on-site demonstrations, and provision of essential resources facilitated a swift and efficient implementation, enabling the manufacturer to meet their tight deadline and enhance the quality and reliability of the camera modules. The FT-2200-W’s adaptability and durability in the demanding conditions of production testing showcased its suitability as a versatile reference light source module. Overall, this case study underscores the value of innovative solutions and collaborative partnerships in advancing automotive technology and ensuring driver safety.