AVCO High Speed Rotating Mirror Camera Type MC 300, Model-2
A Streak Camera For Your Experimentation
This rotating mirror Streak camera can be used for all sorts of high speed photography, it has been used by many agencies to record explosives properties as well as recording various forms of plasma generation.
Camera was built in approximately 1957 and is in decent functioning condition for its age.
The rotating mirror records the image onto a single strip of film 2 3/4" x 16 inches, is inserted in the rear slot on the curved back of the camera. The high speed mirror, maximum 3000 RPS is powered by Helium, that is what the 2 pieces of tubing in the image are for. A helium tank is connected there.
* RECORDING MIRROR CAMERA records position-time relationships for events in the hypervelocity range. The camera consists of a cast-aluminum main housing, a rotating mirror, an f/2.5 lens, two curved film holders, and an air-turbine drive. The hexagonal mirror rotates at 3000 rev/min, providing writing speed of 4 mm/Rsec for a total writing time of 50 jisec. Mirror speed can be reduced. The camera provides a continuous record, the rotating mirror sweeping the image onto curved film strips. Focus remains fixed for a given series of exposures. (Avco, Dept.
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Rotating mirror cameras can be divided into two sub-categories; pure rotating mirror cameras and rotating drum, or Dynafax cameras.
In pure rotating mirror cameras, film is held stationary in an arc centered about a rotating mirror. The image formed by the objective lens is relayed back to the rotating mirror from a primary lens or lens group, and then through a secondary relay lens (or more typically lens group) which relays the image from the mirror to the film. For each frame formed on the film, one secondary lens group is required. As such, these cameras typically do not record more than one hundred frames. This means they record for only a very short time - typically less than a millisecond. Therefore, they require specialized timing and illumination equipment. Rotating mirror cameras are capable of up to 25 million frames per second, with typical speed in the millions of fps.
The rotating drum, or Dynafax, camera works by holding a strip of film in a loop on the inside track of a rotating drum. This drum is then spun up to the speed corresponding to a desired framing rate. The image is still relayed to an internal rotating mirror centered at the arc of the drum. The mirror is multi-faceted, typically having six to eight faces. Only one secondary lens is required, as the exposure always occurs at the same point. The series of frames is formed as the film travels across this point. Discrete frames are formed as each successive face of the mirror passes through the optical axis. Rotating drum cameras are capable of speed from the tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of frames per second.
In both types of rotating mirror cameras, double exposure can occur if the system is not controlled properly. In a pure rotating mirror camera, this happens if the mirror makes a second pass across the optics while light is still entering the camera. In a rotating drum camera, it happens if the drum makes more than one revolution while light is entering the camera. Typically this is controlled by using fast extinguishing xenon strobe light sources that are designed to produce a flash of only a specific duration.
Rotating mirror camera technology has more recently been applied to electronic imaging, where instead of film, an array of single shot CCD or CMOS cameras is arrayed around the rotating mirror. This adaptation enables all of the advantages of electronic imaging in combination with the speed and resolution of the rotating mirror approach. Speeds up to 25 million frames per second are achievable, with typical speeds in the millions of fps.
Commercial availability of both types of rotating mirror cameras began in the 1950s with Beckman & Whitley, and Cordin Company. Beckman & Whitley sold both rotating mirror and rotating drum cameras, and coined the "Dynafax" term. Cordin Company sold only rotating mirror cameras. In the mid-1960s, Cordin Company bought Beckman & Whitley and has been the sole source of rotating mirror cameras since. An offshoot of Cordin Company, Millisecond Cinematography, provided drum camera technology to the commercial cinematography market.
Streak photography (closely related to strip photography) uses a streak camera to combine a series of essentially one-dimensional images into a two-dimensional image. The terms "streak photography" and "strip photography" are often interchanged, though some authors draw a distinction.
By removing the prism from a rotary prism camera and using a very narrow slit in place of the shutter, it is possible to take images whose exposure is essentially one dimension of spatial information recorded continuously over time. Streak records are therefore a space vs. time graphical record. The image that results allows for very precise measurement of velocities. It is also possible to capture streak records using rotating mirror technology at much faster speeds. Digital line sensors can be used for this effect as well, as can some two-dimensional sensors with a slit mask.
For the development of explosives the image of a line of sample was projected onto an arc of film via a rotating mirror. The advance of flame appeared as an oblique image on the film, from which the velocity of detonation was measured.
Motion compensation photography (also known as ballistic synchro photography or smear photography when used to image high-speed projectiles) is a form of streak photography. When the motion of the film is opposite to that of the subject with an inverting (positive) lens, and synchronized appropriately, the images show events as a function of time. Objects remaining motionless show up as streaks. This is the technique used for finish line photographs. At no time is it possible to take a still photograph that duplicates the results of a finish line photograph taken with this method. A still is a photograph in time, a streak/smear photograph is a photograph of time. When used to image high-speed projectiles the use of a slit (as in streak photography) produce very short exposure times ensuring higher image resolution. The use for high-speed projectiles means that one still image is normally produced on one roll of cine film. From this image information such as yaw or pitch can be determined. Because of its measurement of time variations in velocity will also be shown by lateral distortions of the image.
By combining this technique with a diffracted wavefront of light, as by a knife-edge, it is possible to take photographs of phase perturbations within a homogeneous medium. For example, it is possible to capture shockwaves of bullets and other high-speed objects. See, for example, shadowgraph and schlieren photography.
In December 2011, a research group at MIT reported a combined implementation of the laser (stroboscopic) and streak camera applications to capture images of a repetitive event that can be reassembled to create a trillion-frame-per-second video. This rate of image acquisition, which enables the capture of images of moving photons, is possible by the use of the streak camera to collect each field of view rapidly in narrow single streak images. Illuminating a scene with a laser that emits pulses of light every 13 nanoseconds, synchronized to the streak camera with repeated sampling and positioning, researchers have demonstrated collection of one-dimensional data which can be computationally compiled into a two-dimensional video. Although this approach is limited by time resolution to repeatable events, stationary applications such as medical ultrasound or industrial material analysis are possibilities.
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