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United Kingdom Space Agency

Case study: Light-field photography

12 Sep 2017, 15:01 UTC
Case study: Light-field photography

Developed by Dynamic Imaging Analytics Limited (DIAL) in 2015 through the National Space Technology Programme funding.

Dynamic Imaging Analytics Limited (DIAL) provides complete solutions to unique and challenging measurement requirements through development of bespoke imaging and data analysis systems.

DIAL was founded in 2015 by Dr Neil Murray, to exploit his academic expertise in astronomical imaging by creating an agile company better suited to serving the needs of industry and universities alike.

Initially working in Formula 1™, Dr Murray collaborated in a UK Space Agency Grant for Exploratory Idea project (GEI) in 2015, to investigate the potential of the imaging technology in space applications. Following a successful proof-of-concept study which identified a unique opportunity for 3D imaging in space, DIAL was awarded a Fast Track NSTP grant to further develop the technology and scale up its operations. The company was able to recruit new staff, and to raise the Technology Readiness Level though vibration, thermal vacuum and radiation testing. Prototypes were fabricated to demonstrate the technique to prospective commercial clients.

As a result of the funding and support from UKSA’s NSTP, DIAL is now developing its first space imager for analysing scientific samples on an ESA-Russia lander due to fly to the Moon in 2020.

Dr Murray said:

the NSTP programme has been vital to establishing the company and planning its sustainable growth. We have we been able to access funding in a timely manner, develop hardware to demonstrate our technology to prospective customers and, we have met a range of contacts within the space industry that have enabled us to plan our future direction.

DIAL also used a strand of the study to explore new technologies in potentially disruptive space applications. Following this proof-of-concept, a second Fast-Track project will develop the technology for multispectral imagers including remote sensing and terrestrial spin-off applications. “Through this Fast Track, we will again recruit new talent and work with academia and UK industry to develop a new game-changing technology” said Dr Murray.

As a new start-up seeking to recruit and develop the best engineering talent, DIAL is acutely aware of the need to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers. The company is fully committed to a programme of high impact public engagement activities including working with schools, universities and umbrella organisations that work at scale such as F1 in Schools.

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