Insta360 ONE X2 360-degree action cameras are giving scientists and space geeks alike some impressive images of the Earth and the solar system from a satellite recently launched into orbit.
The cameras were launched on board a Spacety SAR satellite as part of a collaboration with Media Storm, and this is the second such trip an Insta360 camera has taken to the fringes of our planet’s atmosphere.
Based on Insta360’s X2 models, the cameras were modified to be powered by the satellite itself and to withstand the extreme conditions in the vacuum of space.
Insta360 engineers had to overcome three major hurdles to be certain the cameras would be able to perform beyond the X2’s designed specifications.
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Image Credit – Insta360
The first, and most important issue would be extreme temperatures of both heat and cold.
The X2 cameras would be orbiting the earth every 90 minutes, moving in and out of the sunlight and into shadow.
This would subject the cameras to temperatures ranging from -70° to 50° C (-94°-122° F) sixteen times a day.
Moreover, with the unfiltered exposure to solar rays, the cameras would have to withstand tremendous amounts of solar radiation.
High-energy solar particles can cause sensitive electronics to burn out or affect the video image captured by the camera’s image sensor.
Lastly, the X2 cameras would have to endure the tremendous vibrations and shocks from the satellite launch itself, aboard a Chinese Long March-3B carrier rocket from southwest China.
The camera mounts themselves would also have to endure the same vibrations while keeping the camera pointed in the proper direction for the camera to image its surroundings without obstruction.
With these challenges before them, engineers modified the lens, motherboard, and the camera housing itself to make the cameras more robust for the mission.
Moreover, the cameras and the satellite would be connected by using a USB Ethernet port for transmission and power, which was specially adapted for the X2.
The modifications were then subjected to thousands of high-altitude tests and vacuum simulations, as well as radiation testing. After more than a year, the cameras were ready.
After a successful launch, the satellite reached its orbit and the Insta360 X2 cameras are now providing some fantastic images of the Earth and outer space. Here are a few examples:
While most action camera users won’t capture the action from the heights of outer space, it shows just how robust the design of Insta360 cameras is.
If they can endure the rigors of space, they are certain to give users those unique, and often times dangerous, camera angles that content creators crave.
- Insta360X2 Action Camera (B&H)
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