Video talk

R.B. Minton (
Thu, 27 Jun 1996 13:43:59 -0600

Our (VA Hospital) server opened-up and I had 85 messages waiting; so here's a
lump response to the video talk.

I use a Litton microchannel plate (MCP) 2nd generation image intensifier.  It 
has an S-20R cathode, fiber optic input & output, 18 mm diameter.  On the front
side of it I use a 5 inch focal length lens that is F/2.  On the back side of
it I use a 1-lux autofocus 8mm videocamera.  I can mount a large variety of
lenses or telescopes on the front side.  The above lens gives 9th magnitude in
the video.  I have tracked some DMSP's and EGP with the tube/camera on my 16
inch Dobsonian and gone to 13th magnitude on video.  EGP is quite bright 
between flashes and when it does flash it resembles an aircraft strobe light!

In regards to flash amplitude being compressed - I have not noticed it on my
video compared to visual observations.  I suspect this effect would be dependent
on the particular tube.  My video archives have about 30 satellites and 300 
meteors and I have not noticed this compression effect.  My satellite video
work is an outgrowth of my meteor work.  I have recorded over 250 meteors in
one night for the Perseids.  All star, satellite, & meteor images look normal
like conventional photographs (the brighter it is, the bigger it is).

I have not used my CCD software (MiPS) for a photometric reduction, but have
been told that it would take 20-30 minutes to crunch on a PC for each frame.  I
can envision this taking weeks or months to reduce 1 satellite pass.  If you
(Bart) could test your own method, it would be a big help.  You could try the
video snippet of Atlantis & Mir that I sent 5-6 months ago.

I have been in contact with meteor people and they have not mentioned any
automatic reduction methods.

I wrote an article about AMOS (complete with figures & photos) and submitted it
to Sky & Telescope about 7 years ago.  Initially they were very interested, then
they dropped it like a hot potatoe.  I assume someone said no even though it was
unclassified.  I have no interest in doing this again, but you might call or
write them asking for a copy of it - I sent them everything I had.

R. B. Minton