Space camera captures close up of hurricane Isaac

An experimental camera on the European Space Agency's Proba-2 microsatellite captured a view of Hurricane Isaac as it moved west of the Florida coast into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Space camera captures close up of hurricane Isaac
Space camera captures close up of hurricane Isaac

An experimental camera on the European Space Agency's Proba-2 microsatellite captured a view of Hurricane Isaac as it moved west of the Florida coast into the Gulf of Mexico on Monday.

Capturing images in the visible and near-infrared with a 100 degree field of view, the monochrome X-Cam is housed on the underside of the microsatellite. Less than a cubic meter in size, Proba-2's main mission focuses on observing the Sun and space weather.

The instrument was designed by Swiss company Micro-Cameras & Space Exploration (Neuchatel, Switzerland), the latest in a series of miniature cameras built by the company for ESA missions such as Proba-2 and SMART-1.

Another such camera on Rosetta -- now cruising through deep space -- should provide the first views from the surface of a comet in 2014.

In the future, similar compact imagers could be used to examine the surfaces of satellites to detect whether or not they are damaged.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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