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Ball Aerospace Produces Camera for Mars Mission

Photonics Spectra
Feb 2005
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. of Boulder, Colo., has delivered the HiRise, or high-resolution imaging science experiment, camera to Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Denver for integration into the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The camera is expected to return highly detailed, color images of the planet's surface. Data provided by the Orbiter will complement the information provided by the Rovers on the martian surface.

Under a contract with the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ball Aerospace designed, built and tested the camera for the Orbiter, which Lockheed is building. The camera will undergo more testing prior to its scheduled launch in August. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory manages the mission.

A light-tight box that receives light from an object or scene and focuses it to form an image on a light-sensitive material or a detector. The camera generally contains a lens of variable aperture and a shutter of variable speed to precisely control the exposure. In an electronic imaging system, the camera does not use chemical means to store the image, but takes advantage of the sensitivity of various detectors to different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. These sensors are transducers...
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