By Jacob | May 11, 2011

Z Microsystems Image Processor Enhances Video of Japanese Nuclear Power Plant in Real Time

– Powerful processor improves image clarity for Japanese television station –

SAN DIEGO – Z Microsystems, a leading provider of field-ready computing systems, today announced that NHK, a major Japanese television station, is using the Z Microsystems Image Processor to improve the quality of live video coverage of the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The Z Microsystems Image Processor is a high performance parallel processing platform that runs sophisticated image enhancement algorithms that dramatically improve the clarity of live video feeds.

Due to the high levels of radioactive contamination at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news agencies are only allowed to conduct live coverage outside of the 30 km (18 mile) Fukushima zone. Even with high-definition video cameras and telephoto lenses, due to this long distance, the image quality of live video is blurry and lacks detail. The Z Microsystems Image Processor continuously clarifies images with contrast enhancement and edge detection, dynamically improving the quality of live video broadcasting.

Keenly aware of its role in public safety, NHK was concerned about the potential risk to people and the environment posed by the Fukushima plant. Therefore, the station felt it was important to report on what was happening at the plant. Initially frustrated with the poor image quality, the station was very satisfied with the Z Microsystems Image Processor’s ability to clarify the video and provide more detail. Furthermore, the organization is considering using this technology for future coverage of news and events.

The Z Microsystems Image Processor is a dedicated computer system that receives incoming live video streams, applies image-processing algorithms to remove distortion and improve image clarity, and then transmits the enhanced image stream to standard broadcasting equipment. The system incorporates field-programmable gate arrays (FPGA) to achieve parallel processing of computational intensive algorithms without introducing latency into the processed video stream. Image enhancement algorithms continuously adjust contrast to sharpen images while edge detections algorithms identify anomalous shapes and highlight details.

“These image processing algorithms do a remarkable job of bringing out the detail from images degraded by poor visibility and challenging environmental conditions,” said Jack Wade, CEO of Z Microsystems. “This technology can benefit a variety of markets, including broadcast media, Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), medical visualization and any application where image quality is critical to success.”

About Z Microsystems

For more than 20 years, Z Microsystems has been supplying superior computing technology to the US military and defense system integrators. Z Microsystems is the leading designer and manufacturer of “field–ready” computing solutions designed to meet the rigorous requirements of military and government users. Z Microsystems’ field–ready commercial off–the–shelf (COTS) products include rugged flat panel displays, rugged computers and rugged storage systems. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Valerie Chereskin
Chereskin Communication

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