ICE-T Digital Camera Imagery and Movie Notes

The NSF/NCAR C-130Q Hercules (N130AR) flew two digital cameras for in-flight video capture: forward and downward-looking. The forward camera is a Point Grey Research Hi-Res Flea - Color, 1024x768 resolution. The Navitar DO-412 lens has a focal length of 4 mm and the field of view is about 62 x 48 degrees with some barrel distortion. This camera is located on the right wing pod.

The downward looking camera is a Point Grey Research Grasshopper (GRAS-14S5M) monochrome camera, 1280 x 960 resolution equiped with a Sony zoom lens set at about 15 mm focal length giving a field of view of 30x23 degrees. It is located on the belly of the plane. The left side of the image is to the front of the plane, and the top of the image is to the right of the plane.

Images were acquired once per second and stored as JPEG-compressed files, roughly 100 kB each. No image processing was performed beyond converting the raw pixel data to 24 bit color images. Applying a sharpening filter as is ordinarily done by consumer digital cameras will considerably improve the appearance. The UTC date and time are encoded in the filename as YYMMDD-HHMMSS.jpg.

Flight comments:

  • RF02: Fwd camera some moisture on optical window
  • RF07: Fwd camera failed about 1.5 hours into flight. Down camera stops 2.5 hours into flight.
  • RF09: Fwd camera Multiple large gaps in records
  • RF10: Fwd camera not on the aircraft.

    The forward-looking camera on the C-130 was out of service on RF-10, July 24. Nevertheless, we have some good quality images from RF10 taken by the co-pilot during the cloud study portion of the flight. They will be very useful for helping to describe the clouds and meteorology. The image name gives the date and time; camera clock was synchronized within 3 sec of data system clock.

    J. Aquino
    S. Beaton