The great advantage of Stoneridge-Orlaco Ethernet solutions is that advanced image analysis can now also be used in the harsh environments in which industrial vehicles operate. Our Ethernet cameras are used, for example, by R&D teams around the world to test image analysis algorithms on their vehicles. This means that the camera is taking on more and more of the features of a sensor; something that was previously thought impossible.
Using the right camera along with application-specific algorithms is translating concepts like person recognition around excavators or trucks, crop analysis for agricultural machinery, or load scanning for transport companies into reality. Used together, they provide optimum levels of efficiency and safety around your vehicles and vessels.
With an analog camera, the video signal from the camera is transferred to the monitor one-to-one via a coaxial cable. Although there is no delay when using analog technology, the resolution and number of images per second are limited.
With a digital Ethernet camera, the video signal from the camera is converted into packets of information, reducing the delay to a mere few tens of milliseconds (ms). Many Ethernet cameras have an average delay of 200 ms, but Stoneridge-Orlaco cameras perform significantly above average.
An Ethernet camera sends the small packets of data to the monitor, which converts the data into an image. Ethernet technology allows Stoneridge-Orlaco’s HD-E cameras, for example, to send the image to one or more monitors over a network. This makes Ethernet cameras ideal for integrating into onboard computer systems, so processes can be automated.
Ethernet technology requires bandwidth; in other words, the amount of data that can be transmitted over a cable or wirelessly via WiFi. The larger the bandwidth, the faster the data transmission. This is comparable to a four-lane freeway that can handle more traffic than a two-lane one. The more data, the slower the flow of information so, to reduce bandwidth, the video signal is compressed to MJPEG or H.264.
Digitally Panning and Zooming
An Ethernet camera is very flexible, so the camera image can also be mirrored and/or flipped. You can adjust the resolution and digitally scale the image up or down, so you can zoom in or out. You can also crop the image, so the camera only displays part of the image from the image sensor by zooming in digitally on the image that is displayed. This allows you to digitally pan the image, so a larger area can be displayed more accurately with a single camera. Stoneridge-Orlaco cameras already have different presets to adjust the resolution and mirror or flip the image.
Frames Per Second
An Ethernet camera lets you adjust the number of frames per second. More frames per second creates a smoother image, but this also means that more information per second needs to be sent, which requires more bandwidth. The images can also be compressed more strongly, but this reduces the image quality.
High Dynamic Range
Stoneridge-Orlaco Ethernet cameras feature SDR (Standard Dynamic Range) and HDR (High Dynamic Range). HDR increases the contrast and color range, producing a better image than SDR, especially with both dark and very light subjects. HDR allows an operator to see their environment better than SDR in high-contrast situations, thus increasing safety.
Different Ethernet Technologies
Stoneridge-Orlaco uses two different Ethernet technologies for its cameras: Fast Ethernet and Automotive Ethernet. Each of these technologies then uses a range of protocols.
Fast Ethernet (100BASE-TX)
As the name suggests, Fast Ethernet 100BASE-TX is a fast variant of Ethernet and is the most widely used Fast-Ethernet type in the world. This technology uses twisted pair cables, with one pair used for each direction, providing a full-duplex operation with a throughput of 100 Mbit per second in each direction. However, the maximum cable length is limited to 100 meters (328 ft).
The major advantage of Fast Ethernet is the high degree of standardization, which makes it easy to connect these cameras to existing LAN networks. Various connectors and switches are also available that meet this standard, so Stoneridge-Orlaco cameras can be integrated into third-party HMIs.
Ethernet works in layers. Protocols run on top of the Ethernet layer; with TCP/IP being the most well-known and widely used. The Internet protocol—usually abbreviated to IP—is a network protocol that allows devices on a computer network to communicate with each other. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is a protocol used to transfer data over network connections via a local network or via the Internet. TCP/IP is also referred to in combination with the Transmission Control Protocol. The advantage of TCP is that it has a built-in check to make sure that the data packets reach the recipient properly. If a packet doesn't arrive properly, the receiving party (monitor/computer) can request it again to receive it properly. Stoneridge-Orlaco uses this technology for its AF-Zoom HD-E cameras.
RTP over UDP
Stoneridge-Orlaco uses RTP over UDP and AVB as well as TCP/IP. RTP stands for Real-time Transport Protocol and is a protocol for transmitting audio and video over the Internet. UDP stands for User Datagram Protocol and is used as a transport layer for the data. UDP works in the same way as TCP, but without the error checks that TCP performs. As a result, UDP is faster than TCP, but also less reliable in sending data. UDP is therefore mainly used in situations where speed is more important than a 100% faultless connection, which is the case with video streams. Stoneridge-Orlaco uses this technology for its EMOS cameras, as it allows extremely low latency.
The EMOS camera is also available with Audio Video Bridging (AVB). Like RTP, AVB is a protocol for transmitting audio and video streams via an Ethernet network. The difference is that AVB operates on the MAC layer, while RTP operates on the UDP layer.
Automotive Ethernet (100BASE-T1): BroadR-Reach
Automotive Ethernet 100BASE-T1 is a variant of Ethernet designed by the automotive industry itself. It is an Ethernet standard for automotive applications and is also referred to by the industry as BroadR-Reach. BroadR-Reach technology allows multiple systems in the vehicle to access information simultaneously via an unshielded single twisted pair cable. The technology is designed for applications that require greater bandwidth, such as advanced infotainment systems and digital reversing cameras. Faster network technology is crucial for autonomous cars and connected vehicles.
The advantage of Automotive Ethernet is that more applications can use the same cabling. As the wiring and wiring harness are some of the most expensive parts of a vehicle, Automotive Ethernet can save up to 30% in wiring weight and up to 80% in labor costs. Another advantage is that cable costs are much lower, so the wiring does not need shielding against interference. BroadR-reach Ethernet meets EMC requirements for automotive parts.
Would you like to find out more?
For more information about Ethernet and digital camera systems, contact Stoneridge-Orlaco.