18 September 2014 A telescopic cinema sound camera for observing high altitude aerospace vehicles
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Abstract
Rockets and other high altitude aerospace vehicles produce interesting visual and aural phenomena that can be remotely observed from long distances. This paper describes a compact, passive and covert remote sensing system that can produce high resolution sound movies at >100 km viewing distances. The telescopic high resolution camera is capable of resolving and quantifying space launch vehicle dynamics including plume formation, staging events and payload fairing jettison. Flight vehicles produce sounds and vibrations that modulate the local electromagnetic environment. These audio frequency modulations can be remotely sensed by passive optical and radio wave detectors. Acousto-optic sensing methods were primarily used but an experimental radioacoustic sensor using passive micro-Doppler radar techniques was also tested. The synchronized combination of high resolution flight vehicle imagery with the associated vehicle sounds produces a cinema like experience that that is useful in both an aerospace engineering and a Hollywood film production context. Examples of visual, aural and radar observations of the first SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 rocket launch are shown and discussed.
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Dan Slater, "A telescopic cinema sound camera for observing high altitude aerospace vehicles", Proc. SPIE 9227, Unconventional Imaging and Wavefront Sensing 2014, 92270A (18 September 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2061399; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2061399
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