The X-Cam and ISPS Projects

Overview Webcams Software Results
Overview PERT Optical Math
Olin-NASA Research Olin College NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Constellation-X

X-Cam Project: Software

We have created MATLAB software to process AVI files of x-ray events after they have been captured by a webcam. The software is bundled within a MATLAB GUI that contains eight functions. Among these functions are outputting x-ray events to a CSV file and finding the centroids of x-ray events. A PDF readme for our program can be found here, and the entire XCam program can be found here.

Above is a screenshot of our program running in MATLAB. The program has two panels: "Functions" on the left, and "Raw Data" on the right. The "Raw Data" panel changes according to the function that has been chosen. The XCam functions can also be run from the MATLAB command line (just like any other function).

The above is an example of how XCam works. The first picture is a screenshot of an AVI movie of x-rays. The movie was created in a darkroom, using an x-ray gun borrowed from the Olin Materials Science Laboratory. Because the webcam's detector chip is so small, x-rays fill up the entire screen. The second picture is a screenshot of the movie after it has been processed with a threshold by MATLAB. The XCam program takes all pixels below a specified RGB threshold and makes them black, allowing the user to see a much more distinctive x-ray spot.

The most significant goal for future groups working on this project would be to process data in real time as it comes in from the webcam. This can probably be done with the MATLAB Image Acquisition Toolbox; the primary concern would be if MATLAB can acquire and process the data quickly enough in real time.