Large Field of View Multi-Camera Endoscopic Apparatus with Omni-Directional Illumination

A multi-camera hemispherical very wide field of view imaging apparatus with omnidirectional illumination capability comprises a cylindrical body (4, 4.a, 4.b), a hemispherical mechanical frame (2) arranged on one end of the cylindrical body (4, 4.a, 4.b), a plurality of imaging channels (3), each imaging channel (3) comprising at least an image sensor and related optics with a fixed focus appropriate for endoscopic imaging, the plurality of imaging channels (3) being distributed over the hemispherical mechanical frame (2), a light source arranged centre-down at a back part of the plurality of imaging channels (3) and inside or at the end of the cylindrical body (4, 4.a, 4.b). Each imaging channel (3) comprises a plurality of lightning channels (1) around their centre, each of the plurality of lightning channels (1) comprising at least one microfiber light guide having a determined angle of curvature arranged to transmit the light from the light source. The imaging apparatus further comprises a control and processing circuit (5) comprising a camera control unit (6), an illumination control unit (7), an illumination unit (8), a sample and capture unit (9), an image processing unit (10) and an output interface (11) to a PC. The camera control unit (6) is configured to power each of the plurality of imaging channels (3) and make automatic gain compensation for each imaging channel (3), the illumination control unit (7) is configured for automatic intensity dimming, the sample and capture unit (9) is an interface circuit for correct sampling, extraction and capturing frames of individual imaging channels (3), the image processing unit (10) is configured for constructing a spherical panoramic image by applying a determined algorithm, and the output interface (11) is arranged to output the spherical panoramic image to a system configured to visualize it.


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