Feeds

LOHAN slowly strips lens caps off hi-def imaging arsenal

Lights, lots of cameras, plenty of action

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

It's all go at the Special Projects Bureau's mountaintop headquarters as we await the imminent delivery of our Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) Vulture 2 spaceplane, currently being hewn from the living nylon down at 3T RPD Ltd.

We've got plenty to be getting on with while we wait for the bloke in the big white delivery van to roll up to the door, and we're still fettling the aircraft's fantastical flying truss launch platform. As part of that process, we're pondering just how to mount a mighty imaging arsenal, which includes main cameras, back-ups and back-ups for the back-ups.

Yup, we're not going to all this trouble if we aren't packing a rack of camera kit, and here it is:

A montage of our LOHAN cameras

Clockwise from top, we have:

  • GoPro HERO3 with Battery BacPac and skeleton back - 11MP sensor, 1080p ultra wide. 32GB SD card.
  • GoPro HERO2 with Battery BacPac and skeleton back - 11MP sensor, 1080p ultra wide. 32GB SD card.
  • DBcam Hi-Resolution Micro Action Sports Video Camera - 640x480 maximum resolution. Built-in battery, 16GB SD card
  • Electronics-Depot HD1080P - 12MP sensor, 1920x1080px resolution. Built-in battery, 32GB SD card.
  • Kodak Zx1 - 1.6MP sensor, 720p resolution. Two Energizer Lithium Ultra AA batteries, 32GB SD card.

Working through the list, we'll kick off by noting we had a bit of trouble with the HERO3 on our Special Project Electronic Altitude Release System (SPEARS) control board test flight - AKA the Covert High Altitude Vehicle (CHAV) mission - back in July.

The camera clapped out after an hour, despite the extra battery power, and we suspect it caught a nasty chill. For high-altitude operation, it's necessary to use the skeleton back to avoid misting inside the case, and that probably proved a little too much exposure for the "Battery BacPac".

Nonetheless, the camera did grab some impressive footage before giving up the ghost:

Watch Video

We're going to add a bit of insulation to the HERO3, but aren't relying on it as our main camera. That honour falls to the HERO2, which has proved itself resistant to the cold on previous flights.

The DBcam Hi-Resolution Micro Action Sports Video Camera and Electronics-Depot HD1080P are as yet untested, and exact technical details are hard to come by. They're both compact, budget cameras which have attracted positive reviews online, so they'll do as a back up and back-up back-up. We'll need to drill holes in the cases to avert the aforementioned misting.

Our dear old Kodak Zx1 is, long-term readers will recall, a veteran of our Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) mission, and captured the moment our Vulture 1 flew into the history books:

Watch Video

PARIS also packed a Canon A560 PowerShot...

The Canon A560

...hacked with the Canon Hack Development Kit to run an intervalometer script:

Watch Video

LOHAN team member Dave Akerman has a similarly-hacked Canon A480, which he used to capture our SPEARS test flight launch in July...

Watch Video

...so either his camera or the A560 will perform a similar duty for LOHAN.

Well, we reckon we've got it covered, and if you throw in some ground-based stills and video coverage of the whole thing, plus a live webcam feed of the launch and pursuit, LOHAN promises to be quite an media experience. Expect video, and lots of it, when the time comes...®


Further LOHAN resources:

  • New to LOHAN? Try this mission summary for enlightenment.
  • You can find full LOHAN coverage right here.
  • Join the expert LOHAN debate down at Reg forums.
  • All the LOHAN and Paper Aircraft Released Into Space (PARIS) vids live on YouTube.
  • For our SPB photo archive, proceed directly to Flickr.
  • We sometimes indulge in light consensual tweeting, as you can see here.

LOHAN - A Special Projects Bureau production in association with...

  • 3T RPD logo
  • University of Southampton logo
  • Applied Vacuum Engineering logo
  • Escher Technologies
  • Flashpoint Fireworks logo
  • HAB Supplies logo
  • Rock 7 logo

Paper Aircraft Released Into Space

Mobile application security vulnerability report

More from The Register

next story
Bad back? Show some spine and stop popping paracetamol
Study finds common pain-killer doesn't reduce pain or shorten recovery
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
World Solar Challenge contender claims new speed record
One charge sees Sunswift travel 500kms at over 100 km/h
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
SMELL YOU LATER, LOSERS – Dumbo tells rats, dogs... humans
Junk in the trunk? That's what people have
All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on
Radio professor tells us how wireless will get faster in the real world
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.