Using old NASA imagery to look at Antarctic Ice in the 1960’s

What Lunar Orbiter 1 saw as it looked back at Earth on August 23, 1966. Climate studies of Earth will benefit by a look back in time thanks to decades old view from the Moon. Credit: LOIRP/NASA

From Space.com: Old Moon Images Get Modern Makeover

WOODLANDS, Texas — Think of it as a space age twist to that adage: Something old, something new…something borrowed, something blue.

Back in 1966 and 1967, NASA hurled a series of Lunar Orbiter spacecraft to the moon. Each of the five orbiters were dispatched to map the landscape in high-resolution and assist in charting where best to set down Apollo moonwalkers and open up the lunar surface to expanded human operations.

Imagery gleaned from the Lunar Orbiters over 40 years ago is now getting a 21st century makeover thanks to the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP).

By gathering the vintage hardware to playback the imagery, and then upgrading it to digital standards, researchers have yielded a strikingly fresh look at the old moon. Furthermore, LOIRP’s efforts may also lead to retrieving and beefing up video from the first human landing on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts in July 1969.

Digital domain

Dennis Wingo, LOIRP’s team leader, detailed the group’s work in progress during last week’s 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.

Teamed with SpaceRef.com, LOIRP’s saga is one of acquiring the last surviving Ampex FR-900 machinery that can play analog image data from the Lunar Orbiter spacecraft. Wingo noted that the work is backed by NASA’s Exploration Systems Mission Directorate, the space agency’s Innovative Partnership Program, along with private organizations, making it possible to overhaul old equipment, digitally upgrade and clean-up the imagery via software.

LOIRP is located at NASA’s Ames Research Center at Moffett Field, Calif. There, project members are taking the analog data, converting it into digital form and reconstructing the images.

By moving them into the digital domain, Wingo said, the photos now offer a higher dynamic range and resolution than the original pictures, he added.

“We’re going to be releasing these to the whole world,” Wingo said.

Use of the refreshed images, contrasted to what NASA’s upcoming Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission is slated to produce, has an immediate scientific benefit. That is, what is the frequency of impacts on the Moon’s already substantially crater-pocked surface?

“We’ll be able to get crater counts,” Wingo told SPACE.com. “LRO imagery of the same terrain imaged decades ago will provide a crater count over the last 40 years.”

Frozen in time

There’s also a more down to Earth output thanks to LOIRP scientists.

They have used a Lunar Orbiter 1 image of the Earth for climate studies, basically a snapshot frozen in time that shows the edge of the Antarctic ice pack on August 23, 1966.

The team is working with the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado to correlate their images of the Earth with old NASA Nimbus 1 and Nimbus 2 spacecraft imagery that flew at about the same time — in the mid-1960s — as the Lunar Orbiter 1. Nimbus satellites were meteorological research and development spacecraft.

Wingo said that the original Nimbus images may have been recorded on an Ampex FR-900 – so by processing the original Nimbus tapes there is a very good chance that they can provide NASA with polar ice pack data from ten years earlier.

Lessons learned

One treasure hunt outing by LOIRP may lead to finding what some term as “lost” Apollo 11 slow scan tapes, Wingo said.

“We don’t think they are lost. People have been looking for the wrong tapes,” he said, explaining that they were recorded on Ampex FR-900 equipment — not on another type of recorder as previously thought.

Wingo said those Apollo tapes are stored at the Federal Records Center, labeled and ready for a look see.

“We think for the 40th anniversary of Apollo we may be able to get the original slow scan tapes,” Wingo said. If so, the hope is to recover them and give the public a higher-quality, never-before-seen view of human exploration of the Moon.

There is a lesson learned output from LOIRP.

In the beginning, very few people thought this could be done…but now they have seen the results,” Wingo said.

It is not enough to have 100 year recording medium, Wingo explains. Without the retention of the specific era equipment that images are archived on, it will be impossible for future generations to recover older NASA or other satellite data, he advised.

This is a general issue, not specific to the Lunar Orbiter program. The retention of critical hardware should be a requirement for flight efforts. The original historic Apollo 11 slow scan images have been lost due to inattention to this critical detail, Wingo concluded.

(h/t to Gary Boden)

UPDATE: Dennis Wingo responded in comments, and offers this LA Times story on the real trials and tribulations of this project.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-lunar22-2009mar22,0,931431.story

We owe Mr. Wingo and his team, and especially Nancy Evans, a debt of gratitude for preserving space history against the odds. – Anthony

 

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crosspatch

This is why I am a fan of archiving critical data in a mechanical fashion. Even a standard vinyl LP can be played back using a dixie cup and a straight pin … though not may times and not with great fidelity.
I believe our era will be looked at a thousand years from now as a dark age from which little information survives. Electronic archival is subject to loss and degradation. Writable CD-ROMs are only good for about 5 years. People’s pictures, documents, histories, publications will begin to disappear as computerized archives are lost or literally fade away.
Nothing is written down anymore. The paper is cheap and decomposes rapidly.
Google is attempting, for example, to digitize a large number of books, but what happens in case of a catastrophic loss of their archive?
Soon all the data from the early space program will be lost as it fades away, media wears out, noise builds up from copies of copies, etc. Sad.

Kaz

I worry about who is doing the “digital enhancement” of 1966 earth images. What if they have a slant towards alarmism and go wild with the white pen? Who can I really believe these days?

Keith Minto

Polar orbiting spy satellites have been operating since satellites first blasted off.
Their missions are secret, of course,but what a great resource they would be if their early polar images could be released.

Dennis Wingo

Wow, been reading WUWT for a while now and was shocked to see an article about my project here!
If someone here can provide a means to do it, I can post an additional image whereby we think that we can see the Antarctic ice pack on this date. Note to readers is that the image that you see above, (with the overlay recently added) was taken in LUNAR ORBIT! We have figured that we are getting about 1-10 km resolution on the Earth from that distance.
We really hope that we can find the original Nimbus 2″ analog tapes. We have been in contact with some of the original operators of that equipment and have confirmed that much of the original Nimbus data was recorded on our same type of equipment.
You can follow our project at
http://www.moonviews.com

Dennis Wingo

I worry about who is doing the “digital enhancement” of 1966 earth images. What if they have a slant towards alarmism and go wild with the white pen? Who can I really believe these days?
If anyone has ever seen anything that I have written about this subject, I am anything but an alarmist. Scientific integrity and letting the data go where it may is what I am after and if we do this, and do it honestly, it will be good for us all.
If you want to download the original full resolution image, you can do so at:
http://lunarscience.nasa.gov/img/img/Moon1208.tiff
and do you own study. Warning, this is a 1.12 gigabyte file.
Good luck!
Reply: I have a 25 Mb/s connection at home. I’ll bite. ~ charles the moderator

crosspatch

But I wonder what it was about these machines that made the tape only playable on that model. 2-inch video tape was pretty much an industry standard from the late 1950’s to the early 1970’s. If it used a standard recording format, it should have been playable on a variety of different machines, not just the FR900.
REPLY: Having worked on a number of Ampex tape decks in my career, including 2″ and 1″ reel to reel formats, I can tell you that the FR900 was an oddball. While it used the “quad” motorized head familiar to the TV broadcasters, like this monster VR2000 http://www.lionlamb.us/quad/vr2000_2.jpg it was much more compact and designed for a variety of science and technology recording tasks, such as recording radar images from PPI scopes. In the case of the moon landing videos, a lot of it was done in SSTV (slow scan TV) which allowed for fitting the video signal into a narrower bandwidth radio transmission. SSTV and NTSC are not compatible as you may know.
This was all part of the power consideration for transmitting data back to earth on limited battery/solar power.
BTW the Ampex VR2000 is what I started by broadcast career on. They were indeed beasts, and used compressed air to spin the turbine connected to the quad rotary head. The drew power like a welder might on 220VAC. See more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2%22_Quadruplex_videotape
So the point I’m making is that while thousands of Ampex VTR’s were made for television, only a few of the FR900’s were made because they were special purpose. Given how quickly media recording has evolved, finding one in working order is a feat. See more on the FR900 here:
http://www.moonviews.com/archives/2009/02/lunar_orbiter_image_recovery_p_1.html
– Anthony

deadwood

It is amazing that we were able to send men to the moon and back with the technology of the 1960’s.
My dad worked in Mountainview back then making electronics for the space program. I am glad to see that the spirit of adventure and the excitement of discovery still lives there today.

crosspatch

My career on multi-track tape transports were not for video use, they were for instrumentation, audio and some RF. Things like the IF of a receiver being directly recorded to high speed tape (1-inch at 240 ips) for playback and demodulation later. And I have seen some specialty machines that record things in formats that aren’t “industry standard”. This is particularly true with telemetry recorders that record slow moving DC signals where you record something else … say a tone … and frequency modulate that signal with the desired DC signal that would otherwise change too slowly to be recorded directly.
But your explanation that this was a specialty device is reasonable as I have seen such beasts in my time, albeit for other purposes. It seems that there were more such specialty devices during that period of time, too, when data recording standards were few.

Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)

Dennis Wingo (21:05:41) :
Can you keep Anthony up to date on your work?
From the horse’s mouth so to speak.
TX

Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)

Anthony,
those tape decks were real beast, the spinning heads could file your hand off!!!! lol
TX

Fluffy Clouds (Tim L)

sorry moderators, but one more .
Anthony, any way that these shots of the Earth from the 60’s could be used to compare cloud cover and/or intensity? you see where i am going?
use it as another post?
Thank You A.W.

Dennis Wingo

Anthony
Right you are. Also, we did not find them in working order. Here is an article from the LA Times from Sunday before last on how we came to have the drives.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-lunar22-2009mar22,0,931431.story
There is a lot of backstory to this effort.
REPLY: Hi Dennis, thanks for checking in. Yours is an extraordinary effort, it deserves recognition. Just replacing the capacitors (and finding replacements) is a chore. For those who don’t know, in older equipment, before the days of solid tantalum capacitors, the ones of that era would dry out and the dielectric would fail. That’s about 90% of what is wrong with non-functioning older electronics.
Getting an AMPEX quad working again is a feat in the long-lost electromechanical calibration black arts. It’s almost as difficult as the moon landing itself in terms of precision, especially when you don’t have the custom made calibration tools that AMPEX engineers designed. Imagine trying to drag a tensioned magentic tape across the head of a jet engine with the tips of the turbine blades just gently caressing the tape surface to extract a signal and you’ll understand the problem. Yet they worked. – Anthony

Dennis Wingo (21:49:58)
You are doing fascinating work. Please keep it posted here.

Dennis Wingo

Fluffy
Here is another image of the Earth as seen from lunar orbit that we hope to capture soon.
http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/lunarorbiter/images/preview/5027_h2.jpg
This one is from Lunar Orbiter V and was taken in early August of 1967 almost a year after the Image shown above here.
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/planetary/lunar/lunarorb.html
We hope to release that image in the next couple of weeks.

deadwood

Dennis: Thanks for the LA Times link. Great backstory.
I often wonder what my dad did when he was working for Ampex and other NASA contractors back then. I’ll send his the story, he’ll get a kick out it.

crosspatch

I’ll waive at you guys as I pass by Ames on my way to work tomorrow 🙂
Thanks for doing this.

Dennis Wingo (21:49:58) :
sort of an add-on to this… keep in mind that we launched men in to space and landed them on the moon with less computing power than most of us have on our desktops today. One of my off-and-on-again projects is to copy my 5 inch floppies from the late 70’s and early 80’s on to more stable media. I would encourage anyone who has old media and old data… wordstar or old Dbase 11 and Dbase III files, for example, to get them copied to more stable media. The data you have may be priceless.

John F. Hultquist

I’ll call this ROOD (Recovery of Orphaned Data) and say I think this is a great project. Being old enough to remember paper tape and punch cards, I have several things packed away. One day I may seal them in a non-destructible plastic container and bury it under a concrete pad. Someone can dig it up in the far future and wonder!
Thanks, Dennis and LOIRP crew!

John F. Hultquist (22:28:29) :
John, I remember paper tape and punch cards and teletypes too. I may even have a few in a pine trunk in my mother’s attic. Rather than burying them in a time vault, let’s get the data transfered while there may still be devices to do it. And old timers like us who may still be able to remember and write up just what the hell it was we were thinking when we entered the data….

crosspatch

Thing is, you don’t need a “device” to read punch cards and paper tape. You can transcribe them to punched metal tape/plates if you wish or plastic or whatever. It can be “read” with a human eyeball and transcribed manually if needed. That is the beauty of mechanical/physical data storage.
I can make a record of a sound recording on a gold disk if I have the resources. It won’t corrode and it can be played back at any time. Something punched can be stored in metal, rock, plastic, anything. You can enter the contents of a punched tape with a chisel onto a face of a cliff if you wish. Use pebbles to note the location of holes in a pattern buried in the earth. Punched tape and cards are probable the easiest to preserve. Magnetic media in one-off formats is the hardest.

Allan

In the past year or so there has been a anniversary of the Parks Radio Telescope N.S.W , Australia and there were a number of radio interviews on ABC Radio with techo’s who had worked there. The techo’s who were on shift when the first pix from Apollo 11 were transmitted from the moon to Parks RT made comment how clear the image was when initially received. Apparently when retransmitted to Huston the bandwidth was quite a deal less so the image that the public saw was degraded.
Hopefully this tape that Dennis has found was recorded from the direct output of Parks Radio Telescope.
Around Canberra you can always come up against old racks of equipment that was originally in the Tidbinbilla and Orrial Radio telescopes, They are like the gate guard aircraft you see at military installations but at various Govt departments and contractor offices.
Reply: The Story of Parkes Radio Telescope is wonderfully recreated in the movie, The Dish. I would strongly recommend seeing it. It is a true life drama. ~ charles the moderator

Dennis Wingo

sort of an add-on to this… keep in mind that we launched men in to space and landed them on the moon with less computing power than most of us have on our desktops today. One of my off-and-on-again projects is to copy my 5 inch floppies from the late 70’s and early 80’s on to more stable media. I would encourage anyone who has old media and old data… wordstar or old Dbase 11 and Dbase III files, for example, to get them copied to more stable media. The data you have may be priceless.
I just happen to be involved in another historical restoration project to archive the CP/M computing story of Vector Graphic Inc. one of the pioneering microcomputer companies that I worked for in the early 80’s. I was a senior engineering tech there (we built all the prototypes and made em work). I have one of the last surviving complete sets of documentation from the company (including the training manuals that I would KILL for, for the FR-900’s).
There are some guys who have virtualized the CP/M operating system, along with programs and other cool stuff to allow you to run your CP/M apps on a PC. Pretty cool project and we are looking to hand that off to the computer history museum at some point in the future (Mountain View Museum).

Dennis Wingo

Imagine trying to drag a tensioned magentic tape across the head of a jet engine with the tips of the turbine blades just gently caressing the tape surface to extract a signal and you’ll understand the problem. Yet they worked. – Anthony
Yep, at 15,000 RPM no less. The stability of the original FR=900’s was +/- 12.5 nanoseconds for the servo system. We have a company in northern Cal (Athan Corp) that replaced the capstan motor bearings (class 9), by dunking the motors in liquid nitrogen. We also had to get new custom servo belts made, capstan pinch rollers made, and various and sundry other interesting tidbits.
Just as hard as getting the machine running was the problem of the demodulator. The demod does not exist anymore, not even a schematic. We found a document with the original mathematical equations and another old Ampex/Merlin engineering guy (Al Sturm) built a new demod from scratch in less than three months. Note: most of our tapes are recorded in pre-detection mode, meaning that the analog data was written to the tapes before demodulation! Forty three years later we have yet to find a tape that we cannot get data off of.
That was the old NASA for ya.

tallbloke

I can make a record of a sound recording on a gold disk if I have the resources. It won’t corrode and it can be played back at any time. Something punched can be stored in metal, rock, plastic, anything. You can enter the contents of a punched tape with a chisel onto a face of a cliff if you wish.
Clay tablets used to be popular with the middle eastern cultures several thousand years ago, if you made an error, a wet finger erased the blooper. Then you could fire them to make them ‘read only’.

tty

Keith Minto (20:58:41)
The first generation reconnaissance satellite imagery (Corona) have been declassified and is available. It could probably be used to compile a partial record of arctic sea ice off Siberia for much of the sixties and early seventies. However nobody would have userd limited film to photograph Antarctica or Arctic Canada.

Barry Foster

OT Don’t be surprised to see the March UAH and RSS figure to be up. The lower troposphere temps during the month have been higher than last year by a margin. Can’t see Archibald being correct about the low he expects in May.

Richard111

I remember being able to read five unit code punched paper tape by eyeball.
Very much doubt I could do it now. :LOL:

braddles

It’s ironic that it is probably easier to find someone who can read a 5,000 year old cuneiform clay tablet than it is to read 40 year old computer media.

anna v

crosspatch (20:45:45) :
Soon all the data from the early space program will be lost as it fades away, media wears out, noise builds up from copies of copies, etc. Sad.
The only information that has survived for thousand of years intact was written on stone or plinths. These also have a date by.
We do have the pentateuch and the Iliad, no? It is not the originals, it is the painful copying by generations of monks up to the discovery of the printing press. I have a copy of the first half of the Iliad printed in Venice in 1803: yellowing pages, still useful.
The lesson is this: faithful copies. Technology can come up with more permanent records, but still, copying there should be. We call it back ups nowadays.

Roy

This is fascinating and wonderful stuff. It addresses a problem we’ve been worrying about with our domestic photo collection. I recently told my wife to go ahead and spend a four-figure sum to get our digital photos printed in hardcopy. I don’t think it is the least bit hysterical or fanciful to suggest we are sleep-walking into a new Dark Age.
PS: It took me a minute to realize that http://www.lpi.usra.edu/resources/lunarorbiter/images/preview/5027_h2.jpg has south at the top of the image and there is nothing of Antarctica visible in it.

Pierre Gosselin

Dennis Wingo,
I also look forward to hearing more about your results. It’s good to see we have tinkerers and tech-buffs like yourself. People like you really do often come up with the most fascinating things, and usually do so on a shoestring. Keep it up!
OT
I checked the ABOUT page, and I must say that I don’t see why it is necessary for jeez to remain anonymous. Everyone else on the Moderation Team and Contributors uses his/her real name, and should do so in their official function on this website.
Who is the real person behing “jeez”?
I don’t like this cloaking.
Reply: I do apologize for that that. I have reasons for maintaining my anonymity which I have discussed with Anthony. I have met Anthony in person and he knows all about me. I’ll email you on the subject ~ charles the moderator aka jeez

Dennis Wingo (00:00:29) :

… We have a company in northern Cal (Athan Corp) that replaced the capstan motor bearings (class 9), by dunking the motors in liquid nitrogen. We also had to get new custom servo belts made, capstan pinch rollers made, and various and sundry other interesting tidbits.

I figured that you’d have some mechanical challenges too. Is this all funded by NASA? Certainly an effort well spent. I’m somewhat familiar with the efforts to get computers from that era running again, I imagine that seeing some of the first recovered images was an exciting day.
How has the tape media held up? Are you looking at as having one shot to get the best data and hope there will be enough oxide left for a second chance? I imagine that the read head “flies” over the tape – at 15,000 RPM it would be tough to make contact!
What will be the new archival storage medium for this data?
BTW – a note on clay tablets. I used to work for a printer company that pioneered letter quality dot matrix printing. To get the best record of pin impacts we used clay coated paper. Great stuff, if there were a texture on the face of the pin, we’d probably be able to see it. (The record was left by ink, not by depressions in the paper!) Magazines like National Geographic use paper with a high clay content to get their high quality images.

jerry

Concerning the Gigabyte plus file size, why not set uo a torrent and and do the down load in goog old fashioned P2P style. Mu Torrent would be a good way to do it. Lots of big movie files are downloaded with no problem and they are bigger than this data set.

pyromancer76

Charles the Moderator, “The Dish” is a great movie. Thanks to Dennis Wingo for these efforts. I have saved your site in my Favorites. Now WUWT has many more projects to bring to the light of climate science. In reference to preserving current electronic records — including family portraits — what is a safe, long-lasting medium? I remember that my institute’s librarian was very worried about many of these issues.

Sorry to be OT, but the news from the Catlin expedition truly is upsetting today:
Plummeting temperatures today took the thermometer off the bottom of the scale, which means the team are currently enduring temperatures lower than -45°C. These extreme temperatures, the coldest experienced by the team so far in this expedition, have the strange physical side effect of causing the team to sound almost drunk as they slur their words and cognitive reactions are noticeably slower.
The “physical side effect” is “strange” only, perhaps, if one has never heard of hypothermia. I’m copying and pasting the list of sponsors’ e-mails in case anyone wants to prevail upon them to show some human decency and remove the team members while there is yet time.
catlininfo@catlin.com
patrick.birley@ecx.eu
press.services@nokia.com
tburgess@hillandknowlton.com
hasan.abdat@polarcapital.co.uk
info@jenrickgroup.co.uk
contact@triplepoint.co.uk
enquiries@prometheusmed.com
info@hidalgo.co.uk
reception@canadiannorth.com
mayday@bitc.org.uk
serge.viranian@climatefriendly.com
lwaters@london.newsquest.co.uk
info@sickchildrenstrust.org

JohnB

A question from a novice. Why does the Arctic Ice mass begin its annual decline in March, when it appears that Arctic temperatures are not high enough to melt any ice? (See Catlin Expedition, e.g.)

AKD

Mr. Wingo,
An excellent and fascinating project. Thanks for sharing with us and the world.

Jack Green

Sunlight begins reaching the ice in Late March. Enough heat to begin warming it enough to begin melting around the edges.

anna v

JohnB (05:59:13) :
A question from a novice. Why does the Arctic Ice mass begin its annual decline in March, when it appears that Arctic temperatures are not high enough to melt any ice? (See Catlin Expedition, e.g.)
Because it is the water circulating in the oceans that is doing the melting, and already the oceans are warmer http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/sst-090329.gif
Look at all that light blue over Siberia on the left.
There are also animations http://weather.unisys.com/archive/sst/

Great effort!. Digital recording vs. analogical recording, that is the question. By the way, within a few years all those global warming models will disappear forever…modellers included (VBH=Very Black Humor)

Allen63

For precise measurement, photographs must be analyzed by computer — accounting for the non-linear nature of the media’s responses. Only original media can be used — i.e. only original negatives or original sensor raw data, not prints or copies which add their non-linear responses on top of the original non-linear responses. This applies to any old photograph of any feature at close to the film’s (or sensor’s) natural resolution.
One of my projects involved taking very precise dimensional measurements from “photographic data” (i.e. negatives) — near the limit of photographic resolution. People thought they got truer results by using standard “image enhancements”. But, I proved that “enhancement” actually makes some features larger and some smaller. Moreover, photographic films have a logarithmic response to light. That further moves the “visually perceived edge” of a feature from its true position in space.
To use old photos of the entire earth to get data about ice areas, one would have to become very sophisticated and electronic in determining the ice extent. Otherwise, the answer may be larger or smaller than the “true answer”.

Pearland Aggie

Dr. Roy Spencer trying to be funny on April fool’s day…LOL
Mr. Gore Recants
http://www.drroyspencer.com/

John S.

Back in my Army days I used those monstrous Ampex and 3M model 2 inch tape instrumentation recorders for a number of years to support projects that I worked. However, we had the opposite problem to Mr. Wingo. Instead of wanting to capture fleeting data we wanted to capture the maximum length of data so we ran them at 15/16 ips so those tapes would record for up to 72 hours. We used 32 track FM IF recording modules and put on one track of time code and one track of reference signal so that we could slave the playback to the original recording.
Lugging around boxes of those big tapes served as my physical training every day.
Good luck with your data recovery program. It is a noble task that really needs to be done.
Regards,
John

AnonyMoose

JohnB: This team on the ice is far north and going toward the Pole, so is in the coldest area. It’s warmer at the edges of the ice; I saw last week that much of Alaska had temps above freezing.
John F. Hultquist (22:28:29) :

… I have several things packed away. One day I may seal them in a non-destructible plastic container and bury it under a concrete pad. Someone can dig it up in the far future and wonder!

And in the far future someone will wonder why there is a blob of oil-fed bacteria inside a deposit of tar under a layer of rocky sand.

Nostalgia!!
Nimbus 1 was my introduction to spacecraft operations. I was there for all 28 days of flight operations. Nimbus 2 was my introduction to spacecraft I&T and a continuing educaton in spacecraft ops. As part of that education I did the preliminary analysis on the video data that’s being resurrected here. This was the era that we first found the “brown cloud” over Asia. That’s the same “brown cloud,” of course, that was recently “discovered” again, much to my amusement.
For Dennis – thanks for dredging up the memories.
And for Anthony – thanks for publishing this

Allen63

By the way, to add to my above post, the optical diffraction in the lens system must also be accounted for in the analysis. This is a function of the specific physical lens system used.
Net result of previous post and this one:
If ice extents of a few percent one way or the other matter and the edges of the ice extent of interest are “photographically fuzzy”, one needs a lot of data relevant to the exact equipment used to take the photos plus the raw, uncorrected data (sensor or negative). Then one needs to write some computer code that makes all the needed corrections, takes the measurements, and provides the answers. Visual (eyeball) measurements will not do it.

Jim Bush

Dennis Wingo,

I have one of the last surviving complete sets of documentation from the company (including the training manuals that I would KILL for, for the FR-900’s).

Just in case you didn’t stumble across this web site; Stanford University appears to have archived the Ampex Museum collection including the manuals you would kill for. I was curious so I googled and found their site:
http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/ft4s2004rn
Hope this turns out to be useful and I can’t wait to see all those great long forgotten images … great work

Trevor

Off topic a bit so sorry,
But In thought I would share with you the underhand efforts of the UK government to cover up the costs benefits of its Climate Change Act.
it has just slipped out some massively increased costs but conveniently found some spectacular ‘benefits’. From somewhere.
http://iaindale.blogspot.com/2009/04/peter-lilley-challenges-brown-on.html

Tom Bakewell

Absolutly fasacinating stuff. I’d give my eye teeth to work on a project like this
Tom Bakewell

crosspatch

“Why does the Arctic Ice mass begin its annual decline in March, ”
Sunlight gets stronger. After the equinox, the Northern Hemisphere has more daylight than darkness which means more time absorbing energy from the Sun and less time radiating it into space. The ocean starts to warm and the warmer water begins to melt the ice.