5 September 2006 Optics to rectify CORONA panoramic photographs for map making
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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).
© (2006) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert S. Hilbert, Robert S. Hilbert, } "Optics to rectify CORONA panoramic photographs for map making", Proc. SPIE 6289, Novel Optical Systems Design and Optimization IX, 62890G (5 September 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.681940; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.681940
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