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Sony Developing Gigapixel Satellite Imaging

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the hello-up-there dept.

Privacy 101

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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Hmmmm (3, Funny)

BiloxiGeek (872377) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773379)

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.


Right up until the bad guys in the car they're watching drives into a parking garage. Or they park at a mall, walk inside and change clothes before exiting to escape in a different vehicle.

The real question here is: Can we get them to stream images from the back yard patio where Jessica Alba is sunbathing nude???

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773445)

At 50 cm per pixel wouldn't you just be better off jackin' it to Into The Blue?

Re:Hmmmm (1)

darthflo (1095225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773451)

Actually, Mall CCTV will film them while in the mall (works with garage cctv, too) and (probably) tell whomever is monitoring how his target looks after changing.

Re:Hmmmm (5, Funny)

rk (6314) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773977)

"The real question here is: Can we get them to stream images from the back yard patio where Jessica Alba is sunbathing nude???"

I probably shouldn't do this, but since you're so interested, here's a picture of Ms. Alba [nimitz.net] , catching some rays on a light blue blanket in her back yard, taken at 50 centimeters resolution.

Re:Hmmmm (5, Funny)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774065)

Think of the children!! How could you post such content here at slashdot ?

Re:Hmmmm (1, Flamebait)

myxiplx (906307) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774515)

Quick, someone inform Jack Thompson. With any luck he'll get us access to some decent stuff :D

that's not Alba, it's Lohan... (1)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774591)

that's exactly what I was thinking.
read my plates, is that a gun in my hand, is that my hand?
I'm sure that 50cm to the pixel is some kind of satelite image break through but not exactly "high-res"
you will get better images from some guy in a helicopter than this "break through"
and aren't most of the google earth images taken from aircraft?

Re:Hmmmm (2, Funny)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774731)

Finally, surviellance technology being used for good instead of evil.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20774837)

Awww, yeah! Er.... I'll be back in a few minutes.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20774919)

Mind if I take this over to those bushes? kthxbye

Re:Hmmmm (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775591)

If you squint your eyes just right, you can trick your brain into recovering more resolution from the image.

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20778339)

So that's what CSI use to get their images...

Re:Hmmmm (3, Funny)

morcheeba (260908) | more than 7 years ago | (#20776039)

Pixel 2,2 is hottt!!!

Then again, pixel 4,2 is slightly disturbing.

Re:Hmmmm (1)

vuffi_raa (1089583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20781535)

Then again, pixel 4,2 is slightly disturbing.
no way 4,2 is hot- oh wait- I thought you meant 2,4.... eww

Re:Hmmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20777767)

*fap-fap-fap*

Re:Hmmmm (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#20778599)

(runs picture through CSI's Photoshop image filter) OMG!! That's disgusting!

Re:Hmmmm (1)

idego (897496) | more than 7 years ago | (#20779423)

Thats my new wallpaper, funny though I thought she would be more tanned.

Re:Hmmmm (3, Insightful)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 7 years ago | (#20776185)

Or just commit your crime on a cloudy or overcast day.

Already been done... (1)

Qhue (1119913) | more than 7 years ago | (#20780543)

A week ago a commercial satellite was launched that has half-meter (that's 50 cm folx) resolution from orbit, not from airplane altitude, and is set to collect 750,000 square km of high resolution imagery a day. http://www.geoconnexion.com/geo_news_article/DigitalGlobe-Successfully-Launches-Worldview-1-/2204 [geoconnexion.com]

Gigapixellate This (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773407)


War Criminal [whitehouse.org] .

Thanks for your PatRIOTism.

The real question is... (5, Funny)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773425)

Will it have a rootkit with it?

Re:Gigapixellate This (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773775)

Is that supposed to be a subliminal message?

What the hell is PRIOT?

Re:Gigapixellate This (0, Troll)

Columcille (88542) | more than 7 years ago | (#20776527)

I always suspected that the guy maintaining the White House webserver was a war criminal...

7.5 km? (5, Insightful)

ogrizzo (23524) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773431)

A satellite flying at 7.5 km of altitude sound quite bizarre to me.

Re:7.5 km? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773541)

Theoretically, I'd think.

Re:7.5 km? (2, Informative)

Tsu-na-mi (88576) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773655)

That was the first thing that stuck out to me as well. In the actual application, it references an example where the camera, mounted on an airplane, flying at a height of 7.5km, can do X. The writer at New Scientist should have been clearer. Obviously, satellites do not fly at 7.5km altitude -- 75km maybe.

Then, it's not particularly high-resolution (3, Insightful)

wsanders (114993) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773755)

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:Then, it's not particularly high-resolution (1)

ksheff (2406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775717)

that would be more than good enough for monitoring the weather.

15km wide at that resolution in near-real-time (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775791)

A gigapixel is about 30,000 pixels square (or some similar number if it's round), so at .5m/pixel, that's about 15km wide. That's an interesting size if you want to do surveillance of a city like New York (well, Manhattan plus Brooklyn and some nearby areas) or San Francisco - Manhattan's 11 miles long, and SF is about 7 miles square.


So you park a balloon over the city and you can track every car in real time, or launch a helicopter if you're trying to track anybody specific. If cars go 20 mph / 30kph, that's about 8 meters/sec or 2 meters / 4 pixels per frame, less than a car-length, and even if they're going at highway speeds it shouldn't be too hard to track them. You could track car accidents, or track where the police cars are, or where all the taxis are, or where the mayor's main political opponent is going....

Re:Then, it's not particularly high-resolution (1)

Scruffy Dan (1122291) | more than 7 years ago | (#20778161)

a 50cm resolution from a satellite isn't even anything new (although it is very expensive to buy the images and they only cover a relatively small area), A few year ago when doing mu undergrad I took a remote sensing course and we played with images taken from commercial satellites with approximately the same resolution (it was a while ago and I don't recall the exact resolution). The High resolution images are available to anyone with a large enough wallet.

Not sure what is so new about this technology, though it could just be substantially cheaper than the old tech.

Re:Then, it's not particularly high-resolution (1)

nebosuke (1012041) | more than 7 years ago | (#20779441)

You're pretty much correct. I just finished downloading another set of Quickbird imagery for work, and the panchromatic imagery has a 60cm/pixel resolution at nadir. It's not even that expensive if you don't require a new collect. Minimum order area from the existing image catalogue will run you somewhere around $400.

There is a *huge* difference on the digital backend of this theoretical imaging setup, however, as I doubt that Quickbird (or any other non-military sat) can deliver that kind of resolution over that kind of area at a sustained 4fps.

Not impressed. (2, Informative)

Entropius (188861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20780865)

A Canon 1DS Mark 3, the current speed-demon, comes close. It's got less resolution (I think they're somewhere around 20 MP) and about the same framerate (if you can get the data off the camera onto an SD card fast enough, but rigging up a custom data readout for a satellite isn't that hard.) From the specs quoted in the article (15km square from a height of 7.5km), they're using a seriously wide-angle lens setup on this thing. Sticking a tele lens (70-100mm, probably) on the Canon will probably give you about the same meters/pixel resolution, at the cost of a narrower field of view. Now just mount two of them on the satellite, if you insist on the same level of performance as the one in the article. (That'll give you about 50 mpix/sec; you can have that spread over whatever field of view you want by choice of lens.)

Also, consumer cameras (if you can call the 1Ds that, they're $thousands) have these nice things called zoom lenses. Just mount 70-200 IS zooms on the thing, and you can blow up anything you want even more detail on, at the cost of some resolution. You get the added benefit of not caring about vibration isolation on an airplane, since it's built into the lens.

Note that the only reason to use such expensive hardware is speed and a lack of complexity; a larger array of cheaper cameras would do just as well. My $400 consumer camera (Panasonic FZ50) can resolve 18 cm/pixel from 7.5 km. Hell, for the weight these things might be better than the Canons (they're much lighter); just mount however many of them you want on a plane and go. (Granted, you'd need a lot of them; they don't push out high-res images that fast.)

There's no reason to use custom-built hardware when Canon (or Nikon or Panasonic or whoever) is already mass-producing stuff that will get the job done cheaper, with more flexibility (zoom lenses, ability to add more cameras or swap lenses.)

Re:Not impressed. (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20782767)

you can blow up anything you want even more detail on, at the cost of some resolution.

Should have been "at the cost of some field of view."

Sorry, brains not working.

Re:Then, it's not particularly high-resolution (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 7 years ago | (#20780977)

After looking at the drawing from TFA, it reminded me of an insects eye. But I just can not think of any satellite organization that is going to allow a Sony root-kit [slashdot.org] installed on their machine.

Re:7.5 km? (1)

sampas (256178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773719)

Given the rapid orbital decay of objects below approximately 200 km, the commonly accepted definition for LEO is between 200 - 2000 km. Put a second-gen Keyhole 7.5km up, and its resolution will be revolutionary, too. So it looks like the resolution is off by factor of at least 26.

You could put it on an airplane, though. But then again, you can already fly a Cessna at 2000' above a city for a lot less than that new camera will cost. Some city police departments and local news organizations have started using helicopters, and the cameras on these have an even greater resolution. They're even able to broadcast the images onto television.

Maybe slashdot should stop printing press releases word-for-word and maybe evaluate the numbers behind the numbers, even if they can't evaluate the science.

Re:7.5 km? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773835)

I believe that a satellite flying at an altitude of 7.5km is what's referred to as a "spectacular, flaming re-entry"

Re:7.5 km? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 7 years ago | (#20779727)

They mention aircraft - 7.5Km is about U2 spyplane altitude. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_U-2 [wikipedia.org]

Dual use? Would have a lot lower resolution at satellite alititues...

Re:7.5 km? (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774027)

The team suggests that such a camera mounted on an aircraft could provide images of a large city by itself.
Sounds to me like 7.5 km is the altitude for an aircraft, not a satellite.

Re:7.5 km? (1)

Stripe7 (571267) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774553)

7.5 km would be a balloon or one of those high altitude solar powered UAV's designed for station keeping

Re:7.5 km isnt high altitude (1)

billstewart (78916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775601)

It's about 23000 feet - most commercial airliners I've taken do their long-haul flying at 30000 or above, though non-pressurized small planes usually stay below 10000.

granted, the article got the title wrong (4, Informative)

everphilski (877346) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773471)

but the school is the University of Alabama in Huntsville [uah.edu] . w00t!

Re:granted, the article got the title wrong (1)

corvair2k1 (658439) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774201)

Yeah, this happens all the time, both with the University of Alabama at Huntsville and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. I've even heard of conferences miscrediting a professor's home institution as UA when it's actually UAB in official proceedings. Even when the professor is a member of the committee!

Of course, it's a Sony. (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773509)

> Can we get them to stream images from the back yard patio where Jessica Alba is sunbathing nude???

Of course we can.

Just install this special Betatrac codec. Closed-source only.

Oh, the Betatrac codec has to handshake with the chipset we use in Vaio line of lapops. Won't work on your Mac, Dell, or white-box PC, unless you buy our Betatrac Vaio USB device, which will permit you to move (and not copy!) one (and only one!) copy of the video to a Memory Stick.

Re:Of course, it's a Sony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20774565)

...and it has to be a Sony MagicGate memory stick.

Re:Of course, it's a Sony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20775149)

YES! ... I just got a Vaio laptop!

Wait a minute... (1)

pchoppin (864344) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773529)

It can see 10-km-square from an altitude of 7.5 kilometres with a resolution better than 50 centimetres per pixel.
An average satellite orbits earth from an altitude of 386km. What kind of satellite are they planning on keeping at only 7.5km altitude? I bet they can see me flipping them off from that distance pretty clearly.

I want one (1)

nani popoki (594111) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773537)

for my telescope. In fact, it sounds much like some of the more exotic imaging arrays used by professional astronomers nowadays.

LSST : 3.2 Gpixel (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773917)

The biggest one I know of is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is still being designed. They're pushing for a 3.2 Gpixel camera [lsst.org] . Basically, it's an array of 201 16Mp CCDs.

I was talking to one of the folks dealing with their data infrastructure back in April -- they're expecting 6 petabytes of data per year, and are likely going to have to reformat and reprocess on the fly, rather than store processed and formatted data.

Right State and System, Wrong University (3, Informative)

johnalex (147270) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773555)

As much as I'd like to claim credit for my alma mater and this project, the authors didn't check the facts thoroughly. The university involved is the University of Alabama in Huntsville, not The University of Alabama. The University of Alabama [ua.edu] is located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and boasts its own ranked engineering programs.

Let's give the Huntsville program its due.

Re:Right State and System, Wrong University (1)

fancycwabs (1050002) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774689)

You mean rank engineering programs, right?

Yay technology! (3, Funny)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773601)

Woo hoo! Woo... Woo.... hoo?

Wait a minute....

Could or Should (2, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 7 years ago | (#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?

Re:Could or Should (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774141)

I bet CTU would be able to lose them with the new camera, more so if they sent up a perimeter.

Google Maps on Roids (1)

bostons1337 (1025584) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773721)

So is this basically a play on google maps but instead its all juiced up? I didn't see them come out and say in the article that it was "real-time" and "accessible to the public" though.

Re:Google Maps on Roids (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774315)

Apparently, you also didn't see the part where they're still working on it.

Paging Jeremy Bentham (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773751)

Panopticon cities [wikipedia.org]

Sony invents a new wheel, now EXTRA round! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20773947)

> The team suggests that such a camera mounted on an aircraft could provide images of a large city by itself.

Why not just put them on airplanes then? Solar powered drones can fly thru the night and would be much cheaper.

Put them on existing police aircraft. Put them on tall buildings and hillsides, in men's rooms. Just PUT THEM.

Let's know everything, all the time, in real time. We'll be omniscient. We'll be GODLI... oh. Wait.

PREPARING BLU-RAY FOR DRM RECIPROCITY. CAPACITORS CHARGING. FULL POWER IN 3.2.1.... ZARK!

DRM MAINTAINED. ACQUIRING NEW TARGET...

Re:Sony invents a new wheel, now EXTRA round! (1)

rm999 (775449) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774213)

"Why not just put them on airplanes then? "

Reread what you quoted ;)

Re:Sony invents a new wheel, now EXTRA round! (1)

jcicora (949398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774549)

Does this mean that I have to put something over my tinfoil hat now so the camera doesn't pick up the glare?

slogan (1)

superdos (1060190) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773953)

be.seen.like.no.other

Tin Foil Flat Hat (2, Interesting)

garlicbready (846542) | more than 7 years ago | (#20773959)

Does anyone remember that scene in the film the 5th element
with the guy with a flat hat with a square picture on facing upwards

I wonder what would happen if you walked around the streets with a grey piece of cardboard cello taped to your head
would this show up on the camera, or would you just blend in with the rest of the pavement?

Re:Tin Foil Flat Hat (1)

hsdpa (1049926) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774175)

Good idea! I guess that you'll blend in with the ground and maybe look like a slightly miscolored blob (remember: 1 pixel / 50cm @ 4 fps).

Re:Tin Foil Flat Hat (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20785479)

Imagine if everyone had a certain infamous picture on their headgear....

Transmitting that much data (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774041)

Even at 4 frames per second, that's a seriously large amount of data to downlink. Something like 64 times an HDTV signal with images that would tend not to compress as well as FMV.

The article doesn't say what they're using for a downlink.

Re:Transmitting that much data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20774295)

The article doesn't say what they're using for a downlink.
Given it's a spy satellite, probably a satellite dish.

Re:Transmitting that much data (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774423)

probably a satellite dish

Yeah. That's not a lot of detail there.

It's like someone asked how the worldwide cellular phone network worked an you pointed to the little antenna on top of the phone.

Re:Transmitting that much data (1)

SMS_Design (879582) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774539)

Why do you think that this wouldn't compress well? Much of the compression on video is based upon things not changing. If the video is of someone standing completely still while moving only one hand, a good video codec does not need to record much additional data about the majority of the pixels that remain unchanged.

Now think of satellite imagery. The VAST majority of the landscape will not be changing. The buildings in a city will not get up and move around. This video would be VERY easily compressed, especially if you had adequate processing power to analyze differences between frames to spot subtle movement.

Re:Transmitting that much data (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774739)

The buildings in a city will not get up and move around. Try telling that to Blizzard.

Re:Transmitting that much data (1)

jcicora (949398) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774819)

The buildings may not be moving, but doesn't it say that the camera would be mounted to an airplane or satelite? The satelite, yeah it could be in geosynch orbit, but the airplane has to move, so relative to the plane, the buildings ARE movings

Re:Transmitting that much data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20776087)

Fortunately, large areas of the screen moving as a static block also compresses nicely.

Re:Transmitting that much data (3, Informative)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774873)

There are already a number of satellites doing hundreds of megabytes a second down-links. You just need a big, sensitive dish on the ground, and a good-sized transmitter. Heck, with XM and Sirius satellites with a 7 meter dish I can easily see 70dB S/N ratios without even pointing it at the satellite. Since you need about 14dB SNR to pass a couple megabytes a second pretty error-free, a signal 56dB (~400,000 time stronger) above that should be able to pass obscene amounts of data. That part has been done before.

DirectTV, DishNetwork, take your pick (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20774987)

500 channels of HDTV crap means "the birds" really are squirting down on us.

Re:Transmitting that much data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20775875)

I'm sure they will use a fiber optic connection to the aircrafts. The tensioners on that cable would have to be huge...

kyle

50cm/pixel (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774061)

I have no idea how they plan to recognize faces and license plate numbers. At this resolution, one person in blue shirt and jeans will look just like the other and so will two cars of the same model and color.

Re:50cm/pixel (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774427)

RFID implants and relays.

is this really that new of a concept? (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774133)

'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.
http://www.specinst.com/ [specinst.com]

Sounds like the only new thing is that its a gigapixel

Re:is this really that new of a concept? (1)

Eternauta3k (680157) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775189)

Sounds like the only new thing is that its a gigapixel
... in Space!

I wonder if they could use the "lucky" algorithm (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774323)

They had an article about taking the best part from several shots as a new technique to get hubble quality astronomy from ground based telescopes.

I wonder if they could use the same algorithm to increase the quality of these pictures as well.

Re:I wonder if they could use the "lucky" algorith (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774967)

Theoretically You could put a cal signal on the ground and apply software later to correct for distortions seen. That's all that "lucky" algorithm is doing -- seeing the errors in a reference signal and applying corrective factors to the image based upon that. But it would only help so much. Distortion is a little weird -- I'd like further explanation on this, but from what optics people have told me, the atmosphere is like a piece of scotch tape. It you put tape on the object you're viewing, you don't notice much distortion. But hold it right in front of your eye and you will! So adaptive optics works best from the ground outwards rather than from space inwards.

Re:I wonder if they could use the "lucky" algorith (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784103)

I know about that way. The other article was about some way of processing multiple images and isolating the best parts of all images without a correction signal.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/223593/New_Lucky_system_gives_clearest_pictures_of_space [digitaljournal.com]

I think this uses more images (I get the impression this new system might have four images to average).

Military resolution (1)

ze_jua (910531) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774377)

Military already have satelites with such resolution.

Re:Military resolution (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#20779761)

Such resolution, sure, but they can't take a 10x10 km area at such a resolution in one shot.

Sure they can (1)

b00le (714402) | more than 7 years ago | (#20781073)

QuickBird, launched 2001, has a 60cm pixel and a swath of 16.5 km. WorldView-1, launched last Thursday, and WorldView-2 (late 2008) have similar swaths and 50cm pixels. The main limit on resolution has been legislative (i.e. U.S. Govt.) and political, not technical. You can't get video from a satellite, of course, because it's in orbit (450km for QuickBird, 770 for WorldView-2 -- orbital period around 90 mins) and only sees the target for a few minutes and anyway each scene is around 2Gb. This Sony camera seems to have nothing to do with satellites. Satellite sensors are more like scanners than cameras. There's a guide to VHR satellite imaging here [eurimage.com] . Commercial missions use sun-synchronous orbits for consistency -- the satellite passes overhead at the same local time, usually around 10-11 a.m. Military (Keyhole) sats can produce a smaller pixel but they use highly elliptical orbits and... wait... what are those black helicopters outside my window... listen, I was just....

Big Surprise (2, Funny)

whimmel (189969) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774513)

Sony has found another way to spy on us.

EEE-Vil? (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 7 years ago | (#20774863)

Sony is involved, so this must be evil, right?

Dammit, where did they hide the rootkit THIS TIME?

Re:EEE-Vil? (1)

sankyuu (847178) | more than 7 years ago | (#20779447)

Dammit, where did they hide the rootkit THIS TIME?
You have to step back a bit to see the big picture:
It's hidden in plain view! Sony is developing the ultimate Spyware!

Now if it only dropped exploding batteries, or fired a Bluray of Death...

"As well as removing annoying artefacts"? (1)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775027)

Hate to break it to you, but they'll still have to tile images together.

Hmm... (1)

chaos99 (236479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20775421)

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.

Oh, you mean a digital camera? Definitely sounds tricky...

2013 (1)

mahju (160244) | more than 7 years ago | (#20776097)

Astronomer: "I found a new flaming Comet!"
Geek: "nah that's just one of the Sony powered satellites"

black helicopters now obsolete? (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 7 years ago | (#20776445)

Does this mean that the aeronautical market will be flooded with surplus black helicopters?

Re:black helicopters now obsolete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20777721)

Sweet, I'd love to pick one up and give a few of my more paranoid friends a real scare.

A Pushbroom camera is a better. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20776979)

That's great a great use for a fixed camera, but satellites are in motion and are better served by a pushbroom camera (equivalent to a giant scanner in the sky). Pushbroom camera images only require tiling in one dimension since they record a continuous image.

Wait! (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20777729)

I'm just waiting for the Toshiba version to come out.
I'm sure it will be competitive....

Triple AACS, BD+ Encrypted (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 7 years ago | (#20778063)

Wonder what encryption Sony will standardize for this one and how long it'll take for all the satellite studios to agree to it.

How bout planes? (1)

kauttapiste (633236) | more than 7 years ago | (#20780407)

How about strapping a few gigapixel cameras to every airliner with a little computer box along with it saving the images and using the on-board navigation systems to figure out the coordinates of in the image. That ought to provide plenty of imagery - well up-to-date! You could even create animated maps and see how the world is changing!

Use Sat data much? (1)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 7 years ago | (#20781385)

Not sure what fantastic Satellite they are thinking of using, but anyone who has ever used any of this type of data knows it it total bunk.

Unless there is some ultra secret, spy Sat that is far and beyond what exists commercially, but at this point I doubt that.

If you can call taking a snap shot every year or month so "surveillance"... so just stand it the same spot for say months.

I can assume you can re-task satellites, however from what I can tell, no easy task. Remember these things are either in orbit (with some static velocity), or in geosynchronous orbit.

The idea that these things act like they do in the movies, just isn't so. Sorry.

They might be good for spotting big things that don't move a lot, like a ship in dry dock (or you might get lucky), but tracking some jerk walking around on the ground to my knowlege just isn't remotely possible right now.

Almost there! (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#20782233)

> It can see 10-km-square from an altitude of 7.5 kilometres with a resolution better than 50 centimetres per pixel.

Still not good enough for Alyssa Milano's large-diameter areolae. Cut it by ten -- 5 cm should be sufficient.

Big brother (1)

Jesus IS the Devil (317662) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783537)

Big brother is coming, and we're all cheering for it...

Cameras? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20784581)

We don't need no stinkin' hirez cameras.

Just use CSI New Yorks imaging software.

You know, the one that starts with a frame capture from a $10 black and white CCTV camera and zooms fifty yards into a reflection on a window of someones pixelated hand then magically morphs into a perfectly clear view their green and gold emerald ring.

   
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