Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

Climbing Aboard The Mission To Mars



Climbing Aboard The Mission To Mars

By Hank Russell

Getting the Mars mission rolling, of course, was no small feat. It took a team of scientists, developers, engineers and many people behind the scenes to make it happen. For a mission at such a grand scale as this, no detail went overlooked.

Projecting An Image

JPL used the Christie Roadster S6 DLP ? projector for the agency's daily briefing to the press at the Von Karmen Auditorium in Pasadena , CA , highlighting the latest digital images of the Martian landscape transmitted by both Rover and Spirit. ?All press, including international correspondents, are lined up at the back of the room,? said Bryan Boehme, Christie's business manager, Western Region, Advanced Media Display Group. ?They capture the imaging from the pictures they are taking or the video they're filming off the screen.?

The Christie Roadster S6 recreates more than one billion colors utilizing Texas Instruments' 3-chip DLP technology. The chip ? called the Dark Chip ? has a 12° field of view for better contrast. JPL Is using the projector from the Cypress, CA-based company to display print photography and for general viewing in a high-ambient light atmosphere, as well as for videotaped conferences. The projector is used with both High Definition Serial Digital images and standard composite video on a 16:9 aspect screen that is approximately 14 feet wide.

Two projectors are installed there with one as a standby. ?It was initially thought that we would double-stack the projectors and show them at the same time on the same screen,? Boehme explained. ?As it turns out, the way the projector performed, we didn't need to do that to create the amount of light needed to block out all the white light. They were happy to use that one projector.?

Seeing It Crystal Clear

Staffers at NASA JPL are able to see images taken by the Mars Rover in 3D, thanks to CrystalEyes® 3 from StereoGraphics Corporation, a company based out of San Rafael , CA. CrystalEyes 3 is used by engineers and scientists who develop, view and manipulate 3D computer graphics models on monitors in CAVEs®, theaters and immersive environments. Applications include molecular modeling, virtual prototyping and aerial photography and mapping.

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