Poor Quality Images - even in 2010

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SpaceBurger

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Why is it that they still continue to transmit photographs that are the quality of 1963 cameras, from Mars?

The article on the home page showing a new asteroid found looks like someone forgot to turn on the Auto-Focus.

I dont get what the difficulty is for Nasa to put a full 1080 HD camera onto a rover or at the very least a $300 8 megapixel full color camera.

The photographs I keep seeing are always black and white, with "fake" colorizing (is this the 1940's where we are still having to colorize our movies???)

And why are images like this one: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _Eagle.jpg

clearly made up of about 900 composite photos because the camera isnt capable of taking a simple picture of a landscape?

Before you say "Well its a very wide angle". I tend to disagree. I can take some pretty spectacular photos of pretty wide angles without even having to use a wide angle lense, in full high definition color. Yet in order to take a picture of a landing site they need 500 photos and false colorization just to take the photo?

If I were standing on the side of that landing site I would bet a million dollars I could take a spectacular photo with one snap of my crappy digital elph camera in full auto mode. And you wouldnt even need to colorize it ...
 
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MeteorWayne

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Money.
Weight.
Bandwidth.
Scientific goals rather than pretty pictures.

Doesn't belong in Missions and Launches.
 
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SpaceBurger

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MeteorWayne":lglyq95a said:
$147 Digital Elph takes better pictures. No excuse.

Digital Elph weighs ounces. No excuse.

Bandwidth
Illogical. 500 composite photos to make one picture requires far more bandwidth than one image.

Scientific goals rather than pretty pictures.
Illogical. Visual representation of a martian landscape is horrendously important to scientific goals. Equal to if not greater than all the other goals being executed. Its 2010. We have the technology. Simply put theres no excuse *not* to have outstanding visual imagery on these missions. Absolutely no excuse.

Doesn't belong in Missions and Launches.
Says who?

-SB-
 
J

JonClarke

Guest
SpaceBurger":28nj0szr said:
Why is it that they still continue to transmit photographs that are the quality of 1963 cameras, from Mars?
They're not.

The article on the home page showing a new asteroid found looks like someone forgot to turn on the Auto-Focus.
Do you want to talk about Mars or about an asteroid? Without a link to the image in question we can't tell what your issue is.

I dont get what the difficulty is for Nasa to put a full 1080 HD camera onto a rover or at the very least a $300 8 megapixel full color camera.
Those cameras are not designed for space conditions and don't meet mission requirements. There is more to an imaging system than the number of pixels.

The photographs I keep seeing are always black and white, with "fake" colorizing (is this the 1940's where we are still having to colorize our movies???)
Because B&W is much easier to transmit and still contains useful information. In most cases the "B&W" images are not true B&W (i.e. panchromatic) but narrow band images that can be combined to make colour images if required. They are neither fake or colorised in the sense you mean. Wayne has given other important reasons.

And why are images like this one: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... _Eagle.jpg

clearly made up of about 900 composite photos because the camera isnt capable of taking a simple picture of a landscape?
Is probably 20 or so images not 900.

Before you say "Well its a very wide angle". I tend to disagree. I can take some pretty spectacular photos of pretty wide angles without even having to use a wide angle lense, in full high definition color. Yet in order to take a picture of a landing site they need 500 photos and false colorization just to take the photo?
By mosaicking a whole series of images the composite has much higher resolution than a single image. And it is full colour, not colourised. It woulod be a good idea to learn more about pancam before you criticise.

If I were standing on the side of that landing site I would bet a million dollars I could take a spectacular photo with one snap of my crappy digital elph camera in full auto mode. And you wouldnt even need to colorize it ...
I bet you wouldn't. I bet your crappy camera does not have the spectral range of the pancams for starters, or the radiation hardening, or the ability to operate under temperature extremes.

And you are not, instead, Opportunity is. How about you appreciate the images we actually have rather than whinge about them?
 
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Technetium

Guest
lol, Spaceburger.
A $147 Cam wouldn't take a better pic.
The reason is because the MRO which is orbiting Mars taking pictures is taking those images from Space in low orbit.

So when the camera takes a picture, it's taking an image thats view is 30km wide.
Using special telescopes to focus properly, It takes the image. Then saves and compresses it.

You have to understand that the pictures it takes then have to be sent back. And these images are 16.4GB big.
Compressed they are 5GB each.

Now imagine sending that from Mars to Earth.

So yeah, The camera might seem low detail and such. But unfact its really good.
And that example is the HiRISE cam. There are others but are used for different qualities & such.

The MRO is at about 190 miles from the surface and traveling around 4,000 miles per hour to stay in orbit.
Any camera that can take an image from that and send it back to earth it pretty damn good.

It was also launched in 2005. I guess the cameras and telescopes could be improved but they wouldn't be able to just go out and update the cameras. It would have to be a whole new Satellite.
 
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kk434

Guest
I have to agree with the O.P. Lander cameras are REALLY bad, the Titan lander image from 2005 looked even worse than the Venera pics from 1970, awful.
 
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BurgerB75

Guest
I'd love one of these people to go out an buy a $300 camera and then try to use it at the tempratures experienced by the camera's on the probes. Probably the same people who don't understand why the hardware used in space is not "cutting edge".
 
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MeteorWayne

Guest
kk434":alzz2y7q said:
I have to agree with the O.P. Lander cameras are REALLY bad, the Titan lander image from 2005 looked even worse than the Venera pics from 1970, awful.
You do realize the images were taken in thick fog in very low lighting conditions, right.? Your videocam would be able to see almost nothing.
 
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believer_since_1956

Guest
The equipment I worked on that went on both Rovers and Phoenix had to survive.
1. -55C to +85C
2. Vibration and shock that approached 100g. The vibration was in all 3 axis
3. Survive Static discharges sometimes approaching greater than 100's of volts
4. I also spent 8 years designing consumer electronics there is no way a product built for the consumer would survive over 6 years on the surface of Mars.
5. The computers in a off the shelf camera are not radiation hardened either.
 
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centsworth_II

Guest
SpaceBurger":4obg0o5a said:
....I would bet a million dollars I could take a spectacular photo with one snap of my crappy digital elph camera in full auto mode. And you wouldnt even need to colorize it ...
:lol:

I'll take that bet. But first you have to put your camera in a vacuum, freeze it to -6o degrees Fahrenheit then thaw it (several times) and have the local hospital 'nuke' it with the highest energy x-rays they have available for as long as they can.
 
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Yuri_Armstrong

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SpaceBurger":1z7wn07q said:
If I were standing on the side of that landing site I would bet a million dollars I could take a spectacular photo with one snap of my crappy digital elph camera in full auto mode.
You can't be serious here...
 
D

docm

Guest
I do photography and videography for money, and some of my digital cameras cost north of $10,000 counting lenses & very expensive LiION battery packs. I also spent 25+ years working in radiation areas, coping with high energy isotopes and linear accelerators and using imaging equipment there. These were places where most people would cringe as soon as the read the warning signs.

With those experiences I can confirm what the others here have said: NO consumer, or even professional, camera would survive the trip in a satellite or rover, much less work once it got there because their circuitry can't handle deep cold or radiation.

In a manned spacecraft with a controlled environment, yes - but only the very good ones. Even then they wouldn't survive the Mars surface conditions without a special environment enclosure, so why not go with one that's purpose-built to work there?
 
R

rockett

Guest
Add that to roughly a 3.4 km/sec orbital velocity for the Mars Orbiter, and even at 300 km up, it's MOVING.
 
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DarkenedOne

Guest
SpaceBurger":d2pllqlq said:
MeteorWayne":d2pllqlq said:
$147 Digital Elph takes better pictures. No excuse.

Digital Elph weighs ounces. No excuse.

Bandwidth
Illogical. 500 composite photos to make one picture requires far more bandwidth than one image.

Scientific goals rather than pretty pictures.
Illogical. Visual representation of a martian landscape is horrendously important to scientific goals. Equal to if not greater than all the other goals being executed. Its 2010. We have the technology. Simply put theres no excuse *not* to have outstanding visual imagery on these missions. Absolutely no excuse.

Doesn't belong in Missions and Launches.
Says who?

-SB-
SpaceBurger the bandwidth issue is a major problem. You mentioned the composite photos, but you have to understand the all the processing for making the large pictures you see are done on the rover itself. In addition I know they use a huge amount of compression in order to reduce the size of the image.
 
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wolverine84

Guest
SpaceBurger":2uu983ts said:
MeteorWayne":2uu983ts said:
$147 Digital Elph takes better pictures. No excuse.

Digital Elph weighs ounces. No excuse.

Bandwidth
Illogical. 500 composite photos to make one picture requires far more bandwidth than one image.

Scientific goals rather than pretty pictures.
Illogical. Visual representation of a martian landscape is horrendously important to scientific goals. Equal to if not greater than all the other goals being executed. Its 2010. We have the technology. Simply put theres no excuse *not* to have outstanding visual imagery on these missions. Absolutely no excuse.

Doesn't belong in Missions and Launches.
Says who?

-SB-
- $147 Digital Elph will get it's electronics burned by all kinds of radiation just on the way to mars.

- "Digital Elph weighs ounces.", yes if you want it to be exposed to the ultra harsh temperature changes and radiation. Once you add protection you increase the weight alot.

- Look it's same with racing cars. You have no comfort at all, no AC. But the damn thing will do its task perfectly.
 
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