Historically, the Armed Services have preferred the use of large format photography. This concept was expressed well by General Goddard in his famous remark: "There is no substitute for focal length." I would like to add, and if I may paraphrase General Goddard, that for the image interpreter there is no substitute for large format.
This paper describes the design and performance of a miniature 3-inch-focal-length panoramic camera. The camera measures 10 inches long by approximately 6 inches square and weighs about 5 1/2 pounds. It is capable of panoramic coverage from just a few degrees to a full 360 degrees. The lens, the film transport, and the exposure station all are rotated continuously about the horizontal axis of the camera; the film is driven intermittently and synchronously with the scanned image to provide the desired angular coverage. The framing rate can be vareid from one frame every 1.35 seconds to one frame every 13.5 seconds.
Recent research efforts by optical glass manufacturers has resulted in optical glass having improved properties with respect to secondary color correction. Since this glass became available, lenses having complete color correction over an extended spectral range have been developed for a Navy 35mm camera system. The special films, processing and enlarger necessary to complete the Navy system are described.
Army, tactical aerial photography in the past has been achieved sy the use of large format photographic cameras. The imagery produced by these cameras contained a great deal of information with sufficient scale factor to allow ease of interpretation. However, the present use of small aircrafts by the Army has emphasized the need of cameras with smaller format. These cameras must be more efficient because the image interpreter still requires the same information co tamed in each small frame that was present in the larger format. The current requirement for small Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) has emphasized even further the need for small format photography.
The Perkin-Elmer 35mm Minipan Camera is in service in the United States and in several foreign countries in various applications. The presentations deals with the cameras capabilities and the system (KS-129A) applications. The newest applications of the Minipan in Lockheeds "Little R" RPV Program is defined including the remlote programming of frame rates and the mission profiles. Unique fill' handling and techniques developed by the U.S. Army provides gamma stretching and rapid color negative processing.
Small-format photographic systems require some changes in traditional design in order to provide optimum system performance. One factor is modern lens designs that provide a combination of larger apertures and higher resolving power. Together with improved forward motion compensation (FMC), this makes it both possible and necessary to use slower films with finer grain, higher definition. Very stringent size and payload limitations require an in-crease in the footage of film contained in the given volume, making thinner films necessary. Two black-and-white aerial films, KODAK High Definition Aerial Film 3414 (ESTAR Thin Base) and KODAK PANATOMIC-X Aerial Film 3400 (ESTAR Thin Base), are suitable for this application. Two new color films, a normal-color film and an infrared-sensitive false-color film are also suitable. Both are slow with high definition. The normal-color film not only has thin, fine-grain emulsions, but differs from most color films in that the layer arrangement has been changed to provide improved optical qualities. The new false-color film, in addition to its finer grain, has improved spectral sensitivity, improved keeping stability, and has the yellow filter coated on the film.
The development of the KA-60 camera by Fairchild in 1964 has led to a family of 70mm panoramic cameras for low altitude reconnaissance and strike applications. In the strike photography branch of the family, the KA-60 led to the KA-71, the KB-18A and the KB-29A, which is a roll stabilized version of the KB-18A. When a fighter aircraft performs evasive maneuvers prior to and particu-larly following weapons release, as if often necessary under combat or combat training conditions, the collection of sufficient strike coverage and particularly impact photography is very uncertain. In a flight test in August 1974 the KB-29A stabilized strike camera demonstrated that it provides photographic coverage of weapons impact during evasive maneuvering of the delivery aircraft after weapons release. The roll stabilized scanning prism design principle allows evasive maneuvering (jinking) after weapon release and still permits target photographic coverage of weapon impact. The KB-29A provides an angular coverage capability of 150 degrees in the cross-track and 180 degrees in the in-track direction respectively. This permits large rotations of the vehicle up to a maximum of 75 degrees roll angle without loss of acquisition of the target. The KB-29A system utilizes the KB-18A magazine and control unit without modification and 50% of the parts in the camera body are identical with KB-18A parts. The existing KB-18A test equipment can be used to test the KB-29A with the addition of a few simple adapters.
An experimental panoramic camera has been breadboarded which generates film strips side by side, diagonally across a 91/2-inch film web. Both scanning optics and film move continuously and no clamping mechanism or vacuum platen is required. This enables the camera to operate at over 10 frames per second. Other advantages are convenient stereoscopic viewing, and the use of much smaller film spools than for similar coverage of a conventional panoramic camera.
To satisfy current reconnaissance trends, high resolution, small format cameras are becoming more necessary.. The KS-121A Camera System is representative of this trend. Developed to improve the reconnaissance capabilities of the RF-5 aircraft, the KS-121A 70-mm Frame Camera. System offers high resolution in a small format. The small size permits the mounting of four cameras in the aircraft nose which may be configured to suit a variety of missions. The camera features interchangeable lenses of three focal lengths, a wide range of shutter speeds, automatic control, of both shutter speed and lens relative aperture, vacuum film flattening, and built-in-test.
Prior to the 60's, most reconnaissance information was obtained mainly by frame photography which limited the area viewed by frame size and angle of view. Important information was sometimes missed if it lay outside the coverage of the available system. Sensing the problem, Fairchild set about enlarging this field of view to the extreme. Lateral coverage from horizon to horizon along the flight path was set up as a goal. This goal was met in 1964 with the KA-60(A) Camera system, the first in a family of 3-inch moving 70mm film prismatic panoramic cameras. There followed the KA-60B, KA-60C, KA-89, KA-60C-2, KS-120 A and the KA-97. These systems generally are provided with automatic exposure control, image motion compensation to enhance the photographic image and operate at speeds from pulse to 12 frames per second. The images are produced on standard or thin base 70mm film with a frame length of approximately 11 inches. The KS-120 A Camera system, the most sophisticated of the family, is now operational with the Air Force.
Large 75 millimeter format proximity focused image intensifiers can provide high light amplification, high image quality and high speed electronic shuttering functions. These devices have been incorporated in still and cine photographic camera systems. This paper will describe the most recent application of the proximity focused image intensifier to a 70 millimeter motion picture (cine) photographic camera system. Design considerations, acceptance test performance and limitations of the present system are discussed. Recommendations for improvement using direct contact image intensified photography and high speed electronic gating are suggested.
When we speak of the future of small format photography in the armed services, I take this to mean its future in reconnaissance. Certainly its future is guaranteed in other areas, such as documentation instrumentation and as a training tool.
The laser scanning camera system, one of the most recent and innovative methods of photography, dates back to the early 1960's, coincident with the development of more reliable and powerful cw lasers. The laser scanning camera differs from more conventional cameras in that it generates imagery, or rather electrical analog signals of imagery, in a serial rather than parallel manner as a laser beam is scanned across some target scene. This principle has found wide application, especially in the field of nighttime aerial photography. The subjects discussed in this paper are the basic operating components, including some of the possible variations, a development and growth history at Perkin-Elmer, a description of a few of the present and potential applications, and prospects for future growth.
Photography underwater has been a very interesting and rewarding experience for researchers and sports divers alike. Traditionally man has been intrigued by what he saw underwater and has wanted to show others the different and unique features of the underwater world. This paper explores innerspace photography and its usefulness not only to demonstrate you've been there, but also for research studies in the deep oceans relating to mineral exploration, deep sea ocean currents and sea mount studies. Platforms for suspending operational cameras and types of film are discussed. Usefulness of 70mm film type for enlargement and detailing are explored. Results of many different types of operational picture taking are presented and many examples of deep-sea photographs are shown.
The ROME (Recoverable Optical Module Experiments) system was developed to measure optical, radiometric and dynamical behavior of artificial test objects in the exoatmosphere. The test objects and the instrumentation are carried into the exoatmosphere on board a multi-stage solid propellant sounding rocket and the test objects are deployed as nearby targets for the on board instruments which develop the desired data. The instrumentation module is then recovered by parachute. Onboard instruments have included 16mm cine cameras, I.R. radiometers, and vidicons. Test objects have included balloons and aerosols. Qualification of the cine cameras and optics for the sounding rocket environment is described. Our choice of cameras, optics and films, operating procedures and results are discussed.
A critical factor in close-range photogrammetry is the availability of appropriate camera systems. Currently available photogrammetric cameras (single cameras and stereometric cameras), although extremely well suited for numerous applications, do not meet the wide variety of requirements of applications (and potential applications) in an increasing number of engineering and scientific fields. Results of experimental research conducted in centers throughout the world indicate that, through the use of appropriate procedures and techniques, one can achieve with non-metric cameras essentially the same order of accuracy obtained with close-range photogrammetric cameras. As a result, non-metric cameras are starting to gain acceptance as data acquisition tools in numerous engineering and scientific application of photogrammetry. This paper gives an overview of the photogrammetric potentials of non-metric cameras, discusses the results achieved with small-format (70mm and 35mm) camera systems in a number of projects, and refers to the data-reduction procedures and techniques used. The impact of opening the door for the use of non-metric cameras in photogrammetric work is discussed.
Photography is generally regarded by the research and development community as a "mature science." This means that the rate of improvement, per input dollar, is low and is approaching a plateau. In other words, it is becoming very difficult and expensive to squeeze a few more lines per millimeter or another f stop out of photography. From this fact it is easy to see why many old photons are discouraged and are seeking new fields or greener pastures.
Our concern is with payload requirements and moldline conformity of tactical reconnaissance aircraft. We have observed the size and weight of photo reconnaissance sensors continually increase while other avionic equipment has shown an opposite trend. Certainly with advances in optics, film and servo control technology, the trend in photo reconnaissance equipment should have been the opposite, also. The requirements for reducing the size of high performance tactical reconnaissance cameras is very real even in manned reconnaissance aircraft because of the present requirement for a real time reconnaissance capability. Real time sensors are themselves large, bulky, and unreliable. If photo reconnaissance is to survive--and it certainly would be a disaster if it did not--cameras must be made much smaller so they can be colocated with the advanced equipment.
Some of the factors which should be considered in Head-Up Display (HUD) Recording design are presented in this paper. The location of the recording device relative to the pilot, HUD, and windshield is discussed as well as the need for consideration of a recording capability early in the design stages of the HUD and the aircraft crew station. Film type cameras are the only presently used HUD recording device. Factors to be considered in selecting field-of-view, focal length, resolution, frame rate, exposure control, over-run capability, CRT update synchronization, camera activation, and film related mechanisms are discussed. Results of a trade-off study between a film type camera and a video tape recorder are also covered.
The USAF has had a continuing interest in Armament Recording Photography (ARP) since the early days of military aviation. During the Southeast Asia (SEA) conflict, a coordinated ARP Program was established under the 600 PS, AAVS. We will review the equipment, manning and management of ARP in SEA, analyze the results, and suggest areas for improvement in techniques and equipment.
The KB-27A gun camera developed for the F-15 employs dual optical paths to super-impose the head-up display symbology onto the scene photographed via the forward field of view of the camera. The camera does not look through the HUD combining glass, and therefore can be mounted to minimize obstruction of the pilot's forward field of view. Registration of the two optical paths is maintained by a fixed prism assembly mounted ahead of the camera lens. A precision mechanical interface between camera and HUD eliminates the necessity for boresight adjustment. The prism assembly compensates for sighting error due to windscreen curvature in front of the camera. The camera iris and shutter combine to provide 10 stops of exposure control, with automatic ambient light and frame rate compensation over a 6 stop range. The shutter angle is thumbwheel-adjustable to provide 4 stops of film ASA compensation in 13 steps. The film advance mechanism employs a shuttle and fixed register pin in the camera. The flight-replaceable magazine accommodates 100 foot film spools.
Recently two U.S. Navy squadrons deployed to El Centro, California, to do gunnery work and a unique situation arose wherein one of the squadrons obtained good film coverage while the other squadron obtained virtually no film from its gunsight cameras. The net increase in shooting accuracies and overall pilot training and proficiency was considerably enhanced by the utilization of the gunsight camera.
The F-5E/F aircraft are the latest versions of the T-38/F-5 aircraft produced by Northrop Corporation. During the design development of a new lead computing optical sight system for these air craft, a gun/camera sight interface was required that would provide an accurate sight reticle position on the camera film. As a result of this effort, the Ka-26A camera was developed and installed in the F-5E. The purpose of this paper is to present design development and utilization information on the KB-26A gun. camera and the interface with the F-5E Aircraft. Included in the paper are design trade-off parameters of an optical relay system versus a periscope concept, a basic camera description, use of the KB-26 camera in flight testing as an accurate instrumentation camera and operational performance on the F-5E aircraft.
This paper examines the history of gun cameras and their evolution from commercial cine cameras to the contemporary units. The distinctions between reticle recording, instrumentation, strike and reconnaissance photography are examined to permit a more exact definition of the desired function. An analysis of the minimum resolution and acuity required in this role is used to establish the adequacy of the Super-8 format. Conclusions which may be drawn from the study are listed. The influence of these conclusions on the design for the CA-808 is considered and the camera is then briefly described.
Camera format reductions may be sought to achieve such advantages as increased cycling rate, more exposure per mission, bulk, weight, or cost reduction, and reduced maintenance or improved reliability. Optimization is hereby defined as the selection of format offering the greatest improvement in desired qualities and penalties is hereby implied, which will vary with the application. Two hypothetical applications, one in small RPV's and the other in high performance manned aircraft are considered. Conceptual designs for these applications will be developed and results validated by comparison with existing designs. The interplay of film characteristics and camera optical and mechanical performance re-quirements will be treated in detail. Aircraft characteristics and available data inputs to the camera system from the aircrafts navigation and fire control systems will be considered, insofar as they affect camera design features.
The design of cameras capable of low contrast image plane resolution in the order of 100 line pairs per millimeter is examined in light of a representative tactical requirement. It is observed that the magnitude of uncompensated image motion inherent in tactical operations can readily exceed 100 milliradians per second. The need to achieve high image plane resolution in a high motion environment drives the design solution to optics of large relative aperture so as to enable the use of fine grain but slow emulsions. The preliminary design of a 45-millimeter, f/2 panoramic camera is presented. The camera produces a conventional photographic format on 35-millimeter-wide film with an estimated low contrast resolution of 75 to 100 line pairs per millimeter. While the camera is relatively small in volume and weight, it is not actually miniature due to film spools of about 1 foot in diameter. If wider film widths are used without increasing the focal length and therefore film consumption, image plane resolution averaged over the larger field of view will decrease and satisfactory angular resolution will not be obtained. Accordingly, conventional format cameras of equal angular resolution tend to have near equal spool diameters regardless of film width. An alternative but satisfactory design solution may yet be found in cross format camera concepts where the potential exists for combining wide films, narrow field angles, and relatively high image plane resolution.
A computerized camera design and optimization technique is described. The model analyzes the performance using MTF techniques and determines the volumes and altitude range. One each of the camera design parameters are arbitrarily selected. Through an iterative procedure the focal length is computed, which provides the required ground resolution. The minimum operating altitude and camera size are computed. The process is repeated for six camera types, four film types, four film widths, seven F numbers and all combinations of supporting subsystems, which include four types of IMC, four focus control methods, five vibration isolator types, and two thermal control methods. The 107,000 combinations are then sorted into an increasing size order. The computer program may be interrogated for detailed dimensions. These dimensions are suitable for preliminary camera layout. Optimum selection of parameters such as film type, film format, and F number are clearly seen through sensitivity analyses. Sample results are presented showing benefits achievable through optimized miniaturization of an existing camera system.
The importance placed on minimum volume for tactical cameras has led to the need for a higher degree of complexity in the next generation systems. Performance requirements for future systems compared with performance demonstrated by current systems (1960's to present) show that improvement in angular resolution as well as size is desired. In discussing these problems, recent studies indicating feasibility of a two-fold advance are referenced; some obvious design problems are noted; and their less obvious consequences are identified. Tomorrow's miniature cameras present a new challenge to the camera designer. The level of component integration is required to be higher than that necessary in the past and, at the same time, reliability and maintainability must be as good or better than today's systems. Such requirements as these are best met by innovative approaches based on proven technology. A new imple-mentation of wide band stabilization is discussed as an example of sophisticated component integration in the miniature camera. The approach offers distinct advantages in system resolution and size.
The designer of a new small-format reconnaissance camera system will be faced with the problem of providing data annotation in the form of a MIL-STD-782 code block. Some solutions to the problem of providing the necessary optical interface with an annotation device in a limited space are discussed and evaluted. Other factors which might affect both the camera system design and the annotation system design include the possible need for annotation on moving film, and for providing data annotation in a multi-sensor system operating asynchronously at high frame rates. The camera system designer should be aware of the implications of these requirements and of solutions which are available in the latest generatiom of, annotatia, systems, including capabilities for adaptive frame timing, sensor priority, alternate or selectable binary coded and alpha-numeric blocks, and skew compensation. The current availability of solid state LED or gas-discharge cell annotation heads offers another option in system design. Capabilities and limitation of these, devices are compared to those of the conventional CRT annotator.
This paper discusses the advantages of applying the Concurrent Photon Amplification (CPA) speed enhancement techniques, to small-format camera systems, to obtain increased film speed without loss of resolution. The increase in dynamic range and exposure latitude for any given film, provided by the CPA technique is also discussed. Sample photographs are shown that demonstrate the results obtained using Concurrent Photon Amplification (CPA) with various 35 mm and 70 mm black and white films.
A novel image processing technique simulating mechanisms of the human visual system is described. An experiment is detailed, applying the principles of this technique to the digital manipulation of a defocused 35 mm image, and shows the spatial frequency improvement in the resolution of a processed image over the original. The design of a quasi-real time electronic system to rapidly process degraded images in quick succession is discussed.