JAMSAT SCOPE Camera Report

based on a press release from Kasai Shigekazu, JG2BVO, JAMSAT director. e-mail jg2bvo@amsat.org


SCOPE stands for Spacecraft Camera experiment for Observation of Planets and the Earth. SCOPE has two high resolution 3-CCD (Charge Coupled Device) image sensors and provides wide-angle and zoom lenses for snapping views of the earth. Since 1990, when JAMSAT decided to participate in the Phase 3D project, many volunteer members have been involved in the project. Here is the latest information on our SCOPE project with several photographs.

SCOPE is a microprocessor based digital camera which connects with P3D through its CAN-Bus LAN system. Moreover, SCOPE has an interface with RUDAK-U as a backup system. CPU control makes the system more flexible and allows independent operation. The SCOPE project team expects to change and improve its command software after P3D launch. Some commands may be released for general Amateur use, a distant remote controlled camera in space. Hams will control SCOPE and get images via packet radio at will.

Current Status

We have finished all electrical evaluations and fit tests for P3D, and have started to build three flight modules. One will be for launch and the others will be for test and backup, as the April 1996 due date approaches. These modules will be sent to AMSAT-NA for several tests prior to launch.

Photo Album

Here is a collection of photographs showing some of the SCOPE hardware and workers. Each small image represents a larger JPEG image, which you can see by selecting the small image.

Photo SCOPE evaluation model(BM). The EM was a hardware "bread board" for discussing electrical design, debugging on-board software and determining its optical parameters.

Photo Assembling SCOPE engineering model(EM). This module was used for discussing layout of SCOPE's components including two lenses and PCBs, and to determine its weight and dimensions.

Photo Assembling SCOPE EM. Iino Kazuhisa, JH1QQN, carefully assembles the SCOPE housekeeping unit. His excellent soldering work greatly helps the SCOPE project.

Photo SCOPE kits? These are aluminum panels painted in black. They will be used as a frame for SCOPE's flight model (FM). To avoid contamination, they are wrapped in polyethylene bags, ordinarily used for freezing foods in a refrigerator!

Photo SCOPE PCB and the lens

Photo Photo Assembling SCOPE

Photo Assembling SCOPE's PCB on the housekeeping unit. Oohata Hiroyuki, JM3MAJ, on the right, is involved in SCOPE electrical design.

Photo Front view. SCOPE uses two cameras, each of which has a 3-CCD image sensor as its eyes. Wide-angle and zoom lenses are ready to take pictures from various altitudes of the orbit. Ordinary zoom lenses are used with fixed focal length, so that the (greasy) zoom mechanisms are not required in space.

Photo Optical discussion. Yamanaka Jun'ichi, JA1KUD, gives advice on optical balance and exposure techniques for SCOPE.

Photo Camera hoods. Many hoods are being examined. The hoods must prevent stray sunlight from effecting the image. The position of the eye opening was decided after consideration of Phase 3D's antenna systems.

Photo Photo Examining hoods, and installing them on SCOPE.

Photo Photo Photo Photo Photo Mounted lenses and hoods on SCOPE. They are fixed on SCOPE with small screw bolts. All other components, including frames, PCBs, and cameras, are attached with metal bolts. The bolts keep all metal components at ground potential, discharging any harmful electrical charge due to cosmic rays. There are a total of more than 100 bolts in SCOPE. Since the frames were painted black, each bolt was carefully examined to ensure a good electrical connection to ground.

Photo SCOPE BM (upper right) and SCOPE EM (bottom).

Photo Photo SCOPE stuff. Many more people than are shown here are involved in the SCOPE project.

Original article by Kasai Shigekazu, JG2BVO. Edited for Web presentation by KB5MU.