Digicam on Mars -- Spirit Mars Rover

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by takeone, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. takeone

    takeone Guest


    The first color shots from robotic Mars explorer Spirit's Pancam are
    expected later today. If you told me a few years ago that I'd be able to
    download pictures from Mars to a computer in my Den and print them in full
    color within hours after they were taken, I'd have thought you were nuts.
    The Panoramic Camera (Pancam)

    Pancam is a high-resolution color stereo pair of CCD cameras that will be
    used to image the surface and sky of Mars. The cameras are located on a
    "camera bar" that sits on top of the mast of the rover.

    The Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) allows the cameras to rotate a full 360° to
    obtain a panoramic view of the Martian landscape. The camera bar itself can
    swing up or down through 180° of elevation. Scientists will use Pancam to
    scan the horizon of Mars for landforms that may indicate a past history of
    water. They will also use the instrument to create a map of the area where
    the rover lands, as well as search for interesting rocks and soils to study.

    The Pancam cameras are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand (270
    grams or about 9 ounces), but can generate panoramic image mosaics as large
    as 4,000 pixels high and 24,000 pixels around. Pancam detectors are CCDs
    (charge coupled devices). These devices form the image, just as film does in
    a film camera.

    Each "eye" of the Pancam carries a filter wheel that gives Pancam its
    multispectral imaging capabilities. Images taken at various wavelengths can
    help scientists learn more about the minerals found in Martian rocks and
    soils. Blue and infrared solar filters allow the camera to image the sun.
    These data, along with images of the sky at a variety of wavelengths, will
    help to determine the orientation of the rover and will provide information
    about the dust in the atmosphere of Mars. The Pancam color imaging system
    has, by far, the best capability of any camera ever sent to the surface of
    another planet.
    takeone, Jan 5, 2004
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  2. Even if i didn't tell you that, you might think i was nuts.

    technology marches on.

    any clue what the current future thinkers are predicting?

    When i was a kid, my 'future' was to be robots, super cities,
    vacations on the moon and flying cars.

    Don't recall one workd about internet, computers, cell phones...

    the video phone as an off the shelf item never caught on, but can be
    done via the internet and possibly cell phones now. so that one sorta
    came true.

    Chris P in PA, Jan 6, 2004
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