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Member Since: May 30, 2012

Country: Canada

  • You could do a joint venture with Colorado model-aerospace heroes Apogee Components to make flexible electronic payloads for model rockets. The small body tube diameters in low-power rocketry are a severe limit to the payloads, especially for a hobbyist. But if you could get a reasonably cheap, lightweight, flexible instrumentation package (accel/gyro, barometric, maybe a photocell mounted on the rocket (for roll rate), flash storage, and an expandable bus to instrument a rocket to any desired level. You could add GPS, INS, magnetometers, cameras, physics payloads, servos or solenoids (to activate experiments), triggering air-start motors… you, of course, have a good idea of the possibilities there.

    I suggest you talk to Tim Van Milligan, head honcho at Apogee, and see what he thinks of developing a rocketry avionics set. He is a bona fide NASA rocket scientist, and he loves reaching out to the public, so I would guess he’d back it with enthusiasm — especially if it gives him a new, unique product line too.

  • By the way, one way you could automatically white-balance the image after the scan is done would go like this:

    • Scan through the data and find the RGB values of the 5th percentile and the 95th percentile for each channel.
    • Remap the data on each channel so the values above correspond to 5% and 95% of the total (0-255) range. Say, 12–243.
    • Draw the image based on the processed data. The normalized ranges of the RGB values should make the brightest colour white and the darkest colour black. (Of course, if the object has a strong colour, like a Sparkfun box, that image may get a lot worse; it's useful for average images however.)
  • This reminds me of the high-end Dainippon Screen drum scanner at the prepress shop I worked with. That was also a single-pixel device, but the originals were mounted on a high-speed glass drum; the optical system was a halogen bulb feeding the focal point through (I think) 8 fibre optic lines to a set of photomultiplier tubes with a sensitivity of INDIVIDUAL PHOTONS. In transmission mode (for transparent originals) it could differentiate 5.00D from 5.01D, and its resolution limit was something like 5,000 pixels per inch. Fabulous!

No public wish lists :(