[Beowulf] Re: blackbox on Mars?

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Mon Oct 30 10:57:21 PST 2006

On Mon, 30 Oct 2006, Geoff Jacobs wrote:
>>>> Mmm... Except... The high res images are from a plane because you can't
>>>> really make out the fine details from a satellite through the earth's
>>>> atmosphere.
>> It's true that most of the Google Earth images are aerial photos, but
>> I would imagine that one can get 10s of centimeter resolution from orbit
>> on Earth (assuming that clouds aren't in the way).   An old surveillance
>> satellite (Corona) was doing better than 2 meter resolution in the 1970s.
> Absolutely. Assume modern recon sats use a primary mirror similar in
> size to the Hubble primary (both made by Perkin-Elmer). Calculating the
> Rayleigh limit for an Improved Crystal satellite such as that launched
> with USA 186 (Apogee 1050km, Perogee 264km) gives a max resolution of
> 7.9cm at 600nm and min resolution 31.5cm at 600nm. Space Imaging
> typically quotes max res. of 1m with IKONOS. DigitalGlobe says 61cm in
> B&W with their satellites.
> I would suspect that methods for dealing with atmospheric degradation is
> the secret sauce in the NROs architecture, especially WRT real-time
> applications of IMGINT.

Awww, what you guys are all trying to tell me seems to be that I
shouldn't believe everything I see on 24.  So agent Jack Bower really
can't call back to CTU to track the driver of the grey mercedes from
where he abandons the car to where he disappears into the abandoned
military bomb shelter -- at night and independent of the LA weather and

You're really shaking my worldview here.  Next you're going to tell me
that Gil Grissom can't really prove that the sultry blonde did it from
the tiny splinter removed from the carpet at the feet of the victim that
could only have come from her imported chopsticks being hurled at high
velocity through the victim's brain...;-) Or that they can take the
blurred, crappy, low resolution picture from the surveillance videocam
in the parking deck, load it into their CSI Windows GUI and click on it
to prove that the perp was wearing argyle socks and had a mole on his
left butt-cheek by mysteriously increasing the available pixel
resolution by 2000% or so.

I'll bet that MICROSOFT's CSI/beowulf software can do that and match
fingerprints too...:-)


Robert G. Brown	                       http://www.phy.duke.edu/~rgb/
Duke University Dept. of Physics, Box 90305
Durham, N.C. 27708-0305
Phone: 1-919-660-2567  Fax: 919-660-2525     email:rgb at phy.duke.edu

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