IKAROS' deployable camera captures perfect sail photos and animation!
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla
15-06-2010 20:50 CDT
EDIT 10:35 PM: Animation added at the bottom of this post.
I've been watching and waiting for these photos for days! We've already seen IKAROS' view of its deployed sails from cameras attached to the spacecraft, but, in a brilliant idea, the Japanese built IKAROS with two deployable cameras that could view the thing from a distance. They're two tiny little things, I think only about 5 centimeters across, that just get shot out (gently) from the spacecraft and wirelessly transmit their photos to it. And such photos! So cool!
First, a closeup:
And here's the money shot, the distant view -- so square, exactly as it should be! Awesome.
Here's a diagram showing where the cameras were positioned on the spacecraft, and a closeup of the tiny things. In the first picture I posted above, you can see the hole on the spacecraft where the camera came from.
So cool! That's all the analysis I have time for -- it's the kids' bathtime -- but I'll write more tomorrow.
EDIT: One more thing to add before going to bed: an animation, taken by DCAM2 as it receded from the sail (from here). Again, so cool.