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Proceedings Paper

Optics to rectify CORONA panoramic photographs for map making
Author(s): Robert S. Hilbert
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Paper Abstract

In the 1960's, accurate maps of the United States were available to all, from the U.S. Government, but maps of the Soviet Union were not, and in fact were classified. Maps of the Soviet Union were needed by the U.S. Government, including for U.S. targeting of Soviet ICBM sites, and for negotiating the SALT ICBM disarmament treaty. Although mapping cameras were historically frame cameras with low distortion, the CORONA panoramic film coverage was used to identify any ICBM sites. If distortion-free photographs could be produced from this inherently distorted panoramic material, accurate maps could be produced that would be valuable. Use of the stereo photographs from CORONA, for developing accurate topographical maps, was the mission of Itek's Gamma Rectifier. Bob Shannon's department at Itek was responsible for designing the optics for the Gamma Rectifier. He assigned the design to the author. The optical requirements of this system are described along with the optical design solution, which allowed the inherent panoramic distortion of the original photographs to be "rectified" to a very high level of accuracy, in enlarged photographs. These rectifiers were used three shifts a day, for over a decade, and produced the most accurate maps of the earth's surface, that existed at that time. The results facilitated the success of the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) Treaty signed by the US and the Soviet Union in 1972, which were verified by "national means of verification" (i.e. space reconnaissance).

Paper Details

Date Published: 5 September 2006
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 6289, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX, 62890G (5 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681940
Show Author Affiliations
Robert S. Hilbert, Optical Reseach Associates (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6289:
Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX
José M. Sasian; Mary G. Turner, Editor(s)

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