Thursday, December 21, 2006

Orders of Magnitude Resolution Estimation for Digital Cameras at High Altitude

One of the reason for our successful flight is linked to the quality of our photographs. When flying at 36 km altitude, we are roughly at one tenth the altitude of either the International Space Station (ISS) or imaging satellites. For cameras similar to ours, shots taken from the ISS have therefore 10 times less the resolution. Case in point, the LUECKE sign near Bastrop, TX. This sign was used by NASA to evaluate the resolution of astronaut acquired photographs from the ISS.

Calculations show an equivalent of 27 to 32 m for a pixel. The same sign can be seen on Google Maps here. Our previous comparison with Google Maps shows a 1 m resolution for a pixel or imagery details like this one.

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