The Panasonic 3D Camera (3DA1 Camcorder) is a unique all-in-one design, three-dimensional (3D) high-definition television (HDTV) camcorder that records video as files on secure digital (SD) memory cards. The camera tests the performance of file based video camcorders vs. recording on tapes, and provides useful data regarding the performance of the camera's complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) imaging sensors. The 3D high-definition (HD) video also provides a unique virtual experience for outreach to the public.Principal Investigator(s)
Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL, United States
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)Sponsoring Organization
Technology Demonstration Office (TDO)ISS Expedition Duration:
March 2011 - October 2013
27/28,29/30,31/32,33/34,35/36Previous ISS Missions
The camera is an all-in-one 3D HDTV camera. It records discreet video for the left eye view and the right eye view. Each time the camera record button is pressed it records a specific file for that recording on SD cards, one each for the left eye view and the right eye view. Both files must be available to provide a 3D HDTV output with ground support equipment.
Beyond the uniqueness of providing 3D views of the ISS with HDTV quality, the camera provides an opportunity to gather space flight performance data from the camera's CMOS sensors. HDTV cameras flown previously have had CCD imaging sensors that proved to be highly susceptible to ionizing radiation damage. Observing the frequency and decay rate of the CMOS sensor allows the determination of whether a CMOS based camera provides a more robust spaceflight imaging system vs. CCD based cameras.
The 3DA1 also provides operational experience with video as files vs. real-time streaming or tape based systems. Previous cameras flown required the return of video tapes to the ground, or a real-time streaming video capability to play back and stream files from the camera.
The camera provides unique 3D views in high definition (HD) format that provides a unique "virtual" experience for viewers to better understand what it would be like to be on board the ISS. Data regarding the degradation of the sensors may lead to development of cameras that could survive the rigors of space for long periods of time and thus allow deployment of HDTV cameras on the ISS exterior. File based workflows allow more flexibility for managing motion imagery and eliminates the need for bringing tapes back to Earth, thus lowering costs and increasing efficiency.Earth Applications
3D HDTV provides people an opportunity to experience what it would be like to live in the confined work and living environment of the ISS.
Various subjects can be filmed on an adhoc basis over weeks and months in order to provide opportunities to observe sensor decay rates and gain experience with file based workflows. Periodic, brief recordings with the lens cap placed over the lens provide a more accurate count of damaged pixels.Operational Protocols
Setting the camera's "convergence" is very important in the use of this camera system; otherwise, the operation of the camera is very similar to other video cameras with regard to setting exposure, focus, and recording.