Object 11-12

NGI (France)
Ballistic camera No 2
View camera for triangulation by the satellites Echo II (1968)
and Pageos (1968-1970)
National Geographic Institute
Inv. n° 16965


Print of a shot of the Echo II balloon-satellite, 1968
National Geographic Institute
Inv. nihil


This camera is designed to follow the "Echo I & II" satellite balloons launched by NASA in 1960 and 1964.

Inside the camera placed in a stationary position, the photographic plate records a succession of still shots of the sky, separated by a constant time interval and related to universal time.

The resulting image shows the displacement of the satellite balloon which reflects the light from the sun.

The displacement of the stars also figures in the photo.

With this information, the photogrammetry technique allows for the measurement of the distance between the camera and the balloon, thus knowing its orbit.

Conversely, the exact position of the camera on Earth can be known, compared to the satellite traces.

Several cameras were implemented simultaneously in the framework of a campaign led by the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) between 1955 and 1968.

This instrument illustrates the first experiences of space geodesy, before the development of emitting satellites.



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