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Can a camera autotrack spaceflights?

Posted by: Electrolyte - Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:27 pm
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Can a camera autotrack spaceflights? 
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Post Can a camera autotrack spaceflights?   Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:27 pm
I was thinking about how the cameraman was having such a hard time keeping track of everything in the sky, and the thought occured to me that the resultant video would do less of a job of generating excitement for space than a video with nice zoom that could actually keep track of the ship. I was thinking about video that might be a little more 5 O' Clock News-friendly.. It seems to me that this would be vital in generating media attention and thus the public's attention.
So....
Is it possible to have a device on board or tracked with whatever to relay the exact location of the ship to a device in a video camera that, with the help of some small motors, could automatically track the flight path of the spaceship? My thoughts were that if such an automatic tracking of the ship were possible with video, that much better zoom might be also possible, making the entire video much more news-friendly.

Is it feasible to implement such an idea?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:41 pm
Better yet, why couldn't we have the feed directly from the craft? Rutan said he was viewing a camera on board the SS1 when in the control tower, so apparently it already has the transmission capabilities?


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:29 pm
Furious Broccoli wrote:
Better yet, why couldn't we have the feed directly from the craft? Rutan said he was viewing a camera on board the SS1 when in the control tower, so apparently it already has the transmission capabilities?


I believe Discovery Channel has the broadcast rights to that footage :-P


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Post    Posted on: Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:31 pm
Yes you can track them easily. NASA and ESA or Russian flights are recorded with a tracking camera. I imagine it is the same technology that allows ship-borne cannon like Goalkeeper to track and engage low-flying missiles, or a satellite ground station like Goonhilly to track the passage of the Telstar satellite.

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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 9:23 am
Awesome. Would you guys agree that better quality footage would lead to increased media coverage?


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Post    Posted on: Wed Jun 23, 2004 10:53 am
Electrolyte wrote:
Awesome. Would you guys agree that better quality footage would lead to increased media coverage?

Perhaps the media barons should have stipulated the use of camerapersons who film nascar racers? Those boys and girls can track fast moving objects pretty well ... might be cheaper than trying to buy expensive hardware for a single story (aye, and there's the rub).

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Post    Posted on: Thu Jun 24, 2004 8:25 am
Good point.


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