Interview with developer of 2MP cameras taking those amazing Mars photos on the Curiosity rover

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11 Responses to “Interview with developer of 2MP cameras taking those amazing Mars photos on the Curiosity rover”

  1. some how I also think that 
    2MP sensor is not a tiny little thing lots of pixels are nice but a nice big sensor is better if done correctly 

  2. Josh Bisker says:

    Not using the latest tech also has the advantage of giving you a few years of world-wide trouble-shooting on your device and its software before you, you know, launch the thing into space; no emergency firmware upgrades required one week after launch and all.

    Still, you’d think there’d be precedent for putting in some kind of designer’s escape clauses, where they say, “if the project has not launched in four years, then the optical and memory systems may be reassessed to include more powerful technologies not considered feasible at the time of the original proposal.” But I guess then you never get off the ground, because each part of your rover’s tech build leap-frogs itself into total stagnation.

  3. techbuzz says:

    Here’s a much better version of the Curiosity self-portrait (MySpace angle!) stitched together by an individual; this was posted in a Fark thread yesterday.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithgabryelski/7747623468/sizes/o/in/photostream/ 

  4. Jon Konrath says:

    The rover camera uses the KAI-2020 sensor, which is a 7.4 um x 7.4 um pixel size.  The iPhone 4s uses a sensor with 1.4 um x 1.4 um per pixel.  When you lower the pixel size, you increase noise, lower detail, and lower dynamic range.  You might think your phone’s 8MP camera is four times better than the ones on the rover, but it’s more like five times worse.

  5. Max says:

    I still can’t believe they didn’t use a colour camera.

  6. JIMWICh says:

    >> “you don’t get to propose one specification and then go off and develop something else.”

    Um, this kind of thinking always bothers me.  It sets up a false either/or premise.  As if components of a long-term project that are *known to be under accelerated development* cannot be anticipated and planned for, so that, you know, you don’t end up with a $2 Billion dollar mission with an eight-year-old (ancient) camera spec.

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