Gram-scale StarChip components | 4 cameras

Sub-gram-scale 2 megapixel cameras are currently widely available at very low costs. The trend has been a doubling of pixels for the same mass every two years. It is anticipated that these devices will continue this trend for some time. Advances in planar Fourier capture array cameras should make it possible to eliminate the need for focusing optics in the cameras. Advances in Fresnel lens imaging and planar Fourier capture array cameras should make it possible to build focusing optics in the cameras light enough to be used in the mission, or eliminate the need for focusing optics altogether.

Research:

Comments (23)

  1. Sebastian Cline:

    It might be advantageous to study ways that the entire cluster of Starchips could be used as an imaging array. Something that comes to mind is the DARPA ARGUS-IS project. With a smart enough intra-formation orientation tracking and positioning system a total image quality in the hundreds of megapixels is quite feasible.

  2. Gary Camp:

    Adding to Clines idea, it might be possible to make the array capture a single line of "pixels" which will do more of a brush strok instead of a picture as the array sweeps by. Also, much consideration will need to be given to the speed of the flyby. There will be masive smearing if not done right. These little guys are moving at a high percentage of light speed at the encounter. Retired JPL ACE

  3. michael.million@sky.com:

    We could have some fernel lens distributed onto the surface with a standoff capacity after the acceleration phase has been completed. The lens can be very light and have a springy standoff mechanism of whiskers that again respond after the acceleration phase. The camera electronics could be etched into the back of the sail using normal CCD or CMOS technologies.

  4. bala stark:

    Femtophotography could help as it uses a streak camera with short bursts of laser,it has been proved that iy could capture light of 2 pico seconds and images could be retrieved using time of flight camera

  5. michael.million@sky.com:

    Here is a site that shows what MEMS can do, http://www.memx.com/mems-adaptive-optics.htm

    It would be quite easy to build these devices onto the surface of the dark side of the sail.

    http://www.memx.com/products.htm

  6. Breakthrough Initiatives :

    Apr 13, 2016 11:55 Sebastian Cline Posted on: Breakthrough Initiatives
    "It might be advantageous to study ways that the entire cluster of Starchips could be used as an imaging array. Something that comes to mind is the DARPA ARGUS-IS project. With a smart enough intra-formation orientation tracking and positioning system a total image quality in the hundreds of megapixels is quite feasible."


    This is certainly a very interesting idea. At the moment, however, we only anticipate being able to launch one nanocraft per day with the laser system due to the large energy required. While the plan is to launch many nanocraft toward Alpha Centauri, they will likely be separated by vast distances and reach Alpha Centauri days, weeks, or months apart.

    – Zac Manchester, Breakthrough Initiatives

  7. Breakthrough Initiatives :

    Apr 17, 2016 20:57 Gary Camp Posted on:  Breakthrough Initiatives
    "Adding to Clines idea, it might be possible to make the array capture a single line of "pixels" which will do more of a brush strok instead of a picture as the array sweeps by. Also, much consideration will need to be given to the speed of the flyby. There will be masive smearing if not done right. These little guys are moving at a high percentage of light speed at the encounter. Retired JPL ACE"


    Answer:
    As you have pointed out, the nanocrafts extreme speed will have some very interesting repercussions for capturing images. In fact, relativistic effects will lead to a perceived “stretching” of the images that will have to be compensated for.

    – Zac Manchester, Breakthrough Initiatives

  8. Miguel Mitchell:

    Beyond taking pictures, is it possible that the cameras could obtain infrared snapshots of planetary atmospheres with enough resolution that the IR absorbing stretching modes and the "fingerprint" frequencies below 1400 cm ^-1 associated with carbon dioxide, water, and even chlorophyll could be detected?

  9. Kenneth Olive:

    Following up on the earlier point from Breakthrough Initiatives that each nanocraft will be spread out by some distance from the next, I wonder whether this could be used as an advantage. Each craft will have a laser for communication back to Earth. After one nanocraft passes a planet, could its laser also be directed through the atmosphere of the target planet and then intercepted by a trailing nanocraft to enable precise spectroscopy of atmospheric composition. The wavelength of laser used would affect what could be measured.

  10. michael.million@sky.com:

    'Each craft will have a laser for communication back to Earth. After one nanocraft passes a planet, could its laser also be directed through the atmosphere of the target planet and then intercepted by a trailing nanocraft to enable precise spectroscopy of atmospheric composition. '

    It might be better to let it hit the planet and then the other sails look at the aftermath, there will be plenty of energy released.

Please sign in to be able to add new comments.