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Sony Developing Gigapixel Satellite Imaging 101

Posted by Zonk
from the hello-up-there dept.
holy_calamity writes "Sony and the University of Alabama are working on a gigapixel resolution camera for improved satellite surveillance. It can see 10-km-square from an altitude of 7.5 kilometres with a resolution better than 50 centimetres per pixel. As well as removing annoying artefacts created by tiling images in Google Earth and similar, it should allow CCTV surveillance of entire cities with one camera. 'The trick is to build an array of light sensitive chips that each record small parts of a larger image and place them at the focal plane of a large multiple-lens system. The camera would have gigapixel resolution, and able to record images at a rate of 4 frames per second. The team suggests that such a camera mounted on an aircraft could provide images of a large city by itself. This would even allow individual vehicles to be monitored without any danger of losing them as they move from one ground level CCTV system to another.'"
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Sony Developing Gigapixel Satellite Imaging

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  • 7.5 km? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ogrizzo (23524) <Ottavio.Rizzo@ u n i m i . it> on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:09PM (#20773431)
    A satellite flying at 7.5 km of altitude sound quite bizarre to me.
  • Could or Should (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Irvu (248207) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:19PM (#20773657)

    "The team suggests that such a camera mounted on an aircraft could provide images of a large city by itself. This would even allow individual vehicles to be monitored without any danger of losing them as they move from one ground level CCTV system to another.'"


    True it seems that this, if successful could be used that way and, if it all works as they promise would allow for that kind of monitoring (barring tunnels bridges, garages, etc. What I find interesting is that none of them are asking if the should do this or whether we would be better off if they do. Absent from any sort of new surveillance tech reporting is the question of whether such tech is needed or will help if it is used. You know, the kind of questions that reporters should be asking.

    But then again this article reads like a standard press job where a press release is sent by a vendor to the press, they (sometimes) call up the contact name, and then print the release in full with no backgound or other assessment. It is a basic way of filling a publication without ever leaving the office or reporing hard stuff. It is also, all too common these days, especially in the print media.

    Oh Upton Sinclair, where have you gone?
  • by wsanders (114993) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @04:25PM (#20773755) Homepage
    If it has 50 cm resolution at 7.5 km it will have 5000 cm resolution at 750 km, a more reasonable satellite altitude. Not terribly high resolution. So, it's either for wide-angle, low altitude special applications (the haze of the atmosphere is going to limit you to seeing something less than horizon to horizon, and objects close to the horizon are quite a bit further away than those right under you), or "next year's model" will be much improved.

    You could put one on one of them heliostat things, for example, or a solar blimp cruising around at 7.5 km. I for one, blah blah, bug eyed overlords, etc, in their solar powered blimps, et. al.
  • Re:Hmmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LoRdTAW (99712) on Thursday September 27, 2007 @07:35PM (#20776185)
    Or just commit your crime on a cloudy or overcast day.

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