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Proceedings Paper

Lightweight, Compact, Long Range Camera Design
Author(s): Donald V. Shafer
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Paper Abstract

The model 700 camera is the latest in a 30-year series of LOROP cameras developed by McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (MDAC) and their predecessor companies. The design achieves minimum size and weight and is optimized for low-contrast performance. The optical system includes a 66-inch focal length, f/5.6, apochromatic lens and three folding mirrors imaging on a 4.5-inch square format. A three-axis active stabilization system provides the capability for long exposure time and, hence, fine grain films can be used. The optical path forms a figure "4" behind the lens. In front of the lens is a 45° pointing mirror. This folded configuration contributed greatly to the lightweight and compact design. This sequential autocycle frame camera has three modes of operation with one, two, and three step positions to provide a choice of swath widths within the range of lateral coverage. The magazine/shutter assembly rotates in relationship with the pointing mirror and aircraft drift angle to maintain film format alignment with the flight path. The entire camera is angular rate stabilized in roll, pitch, and yaw. It also employs a lightweight, electro-magnetically damped, low-natural-frequency spring suspension for passive isolation from aircraft vibration inputs. The combined film transport and forward motion compensation (FMC) mechanism, which is operated by a single motor, is contained in a magazine that can, depending on accessibility which is installation dependent, be changed in flight. The design also stresses thermal control, focus control, structural stiffness, and maintainability. The camera is operated from a remote control panel. This paper describes the leading particulars and features of the camera as related to weight and configuration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 August 1983
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 0354, Airborne Reconnaissance VI, (25 August 1983); doi: 10.1117/12.933983
Show Author Affiliations
Donald V. Shafer, McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0354:
Airborne Reconnaissance VI
Paul A. Henkel; Francis R. LaGesse, Editor(s)

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