NASA Debuts New High-Speed, HDR Camera for Observing Rocket Propulsion
NASA has just released footage of Orbital ATK’s QM-2 solid rocket booster test taken with NASA’s state-of-the-art, High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X) camera. HiDyRS-X records high speed, high dynamic range footage in multiple exposures simultaneously for use in analyzing rocket engine tests.
Traditional high speed video cameras are limited to shooting in one exposure at a time, but HiDyRS-X can record multiple high speed video exposures at once, combining them into a high dynamic range video that adequately exposes all areas of the video image for comprehensive analysis.
Image of Space Launch System Qualification Motor 2 test or, QM-2, without using HiDyRS-X camera. Credits: NASA
The HiDyRS-X project originated from a problem that exists when trying to film rocket motor tests. Rocket motor plumes, in addition to being extremely loud, are also extremely bright, making them difficult to record without drastically cutting down the exposure settings on the camera. Doing so, however, darkens the rest of the image, obscuring other important components on the motor. [source]
Image of Space Launch System Qualification Motor 2 test or, QM-2, with HiDyRS-X camera. Credits: NASA
The Qualification Motor 2, or QM-2, test was held at Orbital ATK’s test facility in Promontory, Utah, and was the second and final booster test before SLS’s first test flight in late 2018. SLS will be the most powerful rocket in the world, and will take NASA astronauts farther into deep space than ever before [source]. According to The Verge: “SLS will use two of these 17-story tall solid rocket boosters, each of which is capable of burning 5.5 tons of propellant per second to create 3.6 million pounds of thrust.”
In the embedded video below, NightHawkInLight attempted to do a quick color correct/grade of the footage. You can see the results below.