Nikon Made A Special Firmware For NASA, To Avoid Cosmic Rays In Photos

Nikon Z 9

Well, if this is not a nice technological thing by Nikon. Making a special firmware to block cosmic rays in photos.

In an interview with PetaPixel, astronaut Don Pettit talks about the changes that Nikon made to firmware.

Excerpt from the interview:

“Our cameras in space get sensor damage from galactic cosmic rays and after about six months we replace all the cameras but you still have cameras with significant cosmic ray damage,” explains Pettit.

“It shows up at fast shutter speeds, not just the slow ones. So we got Nikon to change the algorithm so that it can do in-camera noise reduction at shutter speeds of up to 500th of a second.”

Pettit says Nikon’s in-camera noise reduction “does wonders” for getting rid of the cosmic ray damage and that “trying to get rid of it after the fact is really difficult.”

NASA used to use Hasselblad cameras, but then started using Nikon cameras. Apparently , there are between 12 and 15 Nikon D5 cameras on the ISS (International Space Station). According to Don Pettit, they are “in the process of switching over to the Z9 and [they are] going to slowly replace the lenses with the Z lenses, initially replacing the lenses that require the mechanical autofocus.

This is what really happened to Bill Ingalls’ “melted camera”

Bill Ingalls

A few days ago we reported about a camera that we thought has been melted by the heat of a rocket launch pad. Well, we were wrong.

As NASA itself states:

NASA photographer Bill Ingalls has been shooting for the agency for 30 years. His creativity and efforts to get unique images are well known within the agency and to those who follow it. He knows where to set up his cameras, so what explains the view from the camera, as seen in the GIF above?

“I had six remotes, two outside the launch pad safety perimeter and four inside,” said Ingalls. “Unfortunately, the launch started a grass fire that toasted one of the cameras outside the perimeter.”

So, the toasted camera wasn’t because of the heat of the rocket launch, it was because a grass fire that started after of the launch. It can be seen in the GIF below.

Images of a brushfire approaching, then destroying, a remote camera set up to photograph the NASA/German GRACE-FO launch on May 22, 2018.
Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls

The camera then looked like you can see on top of the post.

[via NASA/Bill Ingalls]