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Digital Imager


Instrument P.I.: Paul Wercinski, NASA Ames Research Center.


The information below will be updated as more precise data is received.

Technique: Uncooled large format digital camera.

Scientific objective: Total radiate output of the sample return capsule along the trajectory.

Instrument: NikonTM1 D70 digital camera with a 70-300mm f5.6 Nikon lens. Used hand-held behind a passenger window with exposure times 1/1000s. The camera uses a SONYTM ICX413AQ CCD detector with image format 3040 x 2014 pixels of size: 7.8 microns

Heritage: The camera was deployed during the Genesis SRC entry and a similar camera was used for aurora images during the 2002 Leonid MAC mission.

Aircraft hardware requirements: None. Hand-held.

Instrument validation tests: Used successfully during Genesis SRC entry.

Sensitivity: The Genesis SRC entry was detected much above the sensitivity level of the camera in 1/1000s. Gain at ISO 400: 2.57 e-/ADU; RMS noise at ISO 400: 13 e-; Peak dark current at 22oC (typical): 8 ADU/sec/pixel; Offset level (observed electronic bias): 0 ADU (clipped to zero) in Mode 1, 5 ADU in Mode 3.

Dynamic range: 12-bit (factor 4095).

Frame rate and exposure times: Adjustable exposure time settings, manual and automatic. Rate of capture: about 1 image per second. Best results during Genesis SRC entry for 1/1000s exposure. Time code of the camera's internal clock was calibrated to GPS timing, set by hand to < 0.3s accuracy.

Spectral resolution - gives the FWHM of an instrument-broadened unresolved atomic spectral line:
none

Relative spectral response - gives the wavelength dependence of the camera + lens. The following calibration data were measured by Christian Bui:

Digital camera response curve

R-band response
G-band response
B-band response