If you thought 41 megapixels was too much, brace yourself to face the big daddy of “too much”, a 3.2 gigapixel camera proposal. The 3.2 gigapixel camera will soon start mapping the universe, and approvals have already been provided by the Department of Energy.
Purpose of the 3.2 Gigapixel Camera
The 3.2 gigapixel camera will form the eye of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) which is due to be built at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University.
The LSST will start operations by 2022 after its installation, high in the Chilean mountaintop of Cerro Pachó. Pertaining to its installation, the camera will start capturing super detailed images of the entire southern sky. It will ensure wide, deep and quick survey of the entire night sky, containing within it the huge quanta of stars and galaxies, which will probably be the largest collection of them witnessed so far.
Size and Specifications of the 3.2 Gigapixel Camera
The monstrous camera is expected to be as big as a car, it’s actually small when compared to the huge optical zoom cameras placed in the observatories.
The advanced camera will also feature three filters (so far, it had been decided to be three) which will assist the sensor in capturing information on a broader spectrum of wavelengths which span from near-Infrared to near-Ultraviolet.
The filters will be moved within the camera using dedicated motors, thereby nullifying any human effort required, and also making sure that errors due to misalignment are kept at a minimum.
The 3.2 gigapixel camera will consume up to 6 million gigabytes of data every year, this is the equivalent of capturing up to 6,00,000 images every day on a DSLR set at JPEG mode.
Why a 3.2 Gigapixel Camera?
The proposal for such a Brobdingnagian camera stemmed from the fact that more megapixels mean more details and exceptional ability to zoom digitally. The higher the count of quality pixels, the lesser we would need to zoom in optically.
The optical zoom requires huge lenses and specific setups that facilitate the amplification of light. It also takes up vast amounts of space to ensure that the light is well focussed when it lands on the sensor.
When reaching zoom levels beyond 2000mm of focal length, chromatic aberrations become persistent. These aberrations and distortions affect the final observation and introduce unnecessary errors for which extensive counter calibration become a necessity.
By opting for a 3.2 gigapixel sensor, all these negative effects are nullified, as the requirement for optical zoom is tremendously decreased.
We are speechless by this ingenuity and we can’t wait to see super detailed images of the night sky. Hopefully, the storage and Internet connectivity technologies get a severe boost by the time the first super detailed images from the 3.2 gigapixel monster camera comes out.