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Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014

A Few Clouds, 50 °F

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(Left to right) Distinguished Professor of Physics David Drabold with Physics and Astronomy graduate students Brett Ragozzine and Sean Krupa.

Photographer: Jean Andrews

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Ragozzine, Krupa and Drabold watch "The World in Infrared."

Photographer: Jean Andrews

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Student infrared video competition award winners announced

National infrared imaging video contest promotes new ways of seeing the world


Two student teams tied for first place in the recent "See the World in Infrared: 2012 Student Infrared Video Competition @ OHIO" competition. The contest was sponsored by DRS Technologies of Dallas, in cooperation with faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Scripps College of Communication's School of Media Arts and Studies.

The contest focused on developing non-military, commercially viable applications for DRS’ new miniature infrared camera.

OHIO Physics and Astronomy graduate students Sean Krupa and Brett Ragozzine will share the $1,000 award with Warnaka Gunawardena, an industrial and systems engineering graduate student in the Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology.

Ohio University was among thirteen universities participating in individual contests at their respective institutions, including Boston University, University of Michigan, the University of Memphis, University of Florida, Johns Hopkins, and UCLA. DRS Technologies chose the qualifying universities based on a variety of factors including their leadership in the field of imaging technology.  

Distinguished Professor of Physics David Drabold heard about the contest while participating as a member of a five-year, five million dollar U.S. Army-funded research consortium working on the science of night vision. The consortium consisted of academics (from OHIO, Penn State and the University of Toledo), United States Department of Defense scientists and industrial partners, including DRS Technologies in Dallas.

"I was excited by the prospect of OHIO students participating in the contest, since they would have access to cutting edge infrared imaging technology, have an opportunity to demonstrate their creativity, and even win some prize money," Drabold said. "DRS donated two of their cameras, valued at about $8,000, to Ohio University. These cameras are being used in our physics classes now as a fun educational tool to demonstrate qualities of the electromagnetic spectrum in everyday materials."

Krupa and Ragozzine explained, “We spent about 30 hours making our 8-minute silent movie, 'The World in Infrared.' Not only did we experiment artistically and whimsically with seeing 'hot' and 'cold,' but we discovered that the infrared camera has uses in areas as diverse as physics education, home construction, and even automotive diagnostics. Thermal imaging cameras are not just for night vision!”

The movie, "The World in Infrared" can be viewed by clicking here.

Gunawardena’s entry was a 3D product design simulation of how the camera could be converted for use with an iPhone or iPad for potential applications in many areas including medical diagnostics and energy audits.

Students who entered the contest came from various disciplines including chemistry, physics, engineering, and media arts.

“As the contest judges narrowed down the selection for first place, it became clear that two movies demonstrated an understanding of infrared technology better than the others, in very different and creative ways," Drabold said.