Teipei: A tiny camera onboard one of the European Space Agency’s smallest satellites Proba-2 has captured the swirling eye of Soulik typhoon that hit Taiwan recently. The event has raised hopes for the ESA”s Sentinel-1 Earth Observation mission to be launched next year.
X-Cam, the compact Exploration Camera, which is among the 17 experimental technologies hosted on Proba-2 is housed on the underside of the satellite. The monochrome X-Cam observes in the visible and infrared with a 100° field of view. X-Cam comes with embedded intelligence to let it judge the best automatic exposures for optimised image quality. It is one of the smallest cameras that are being used for this purpose. Similar compact cameras could in future keep watch on satellite surfaces to look out for damage or environmental effects, experts believe. Swiss manufacturer Micro-Cameras & Space Exploration is due to fly cameras on ESA”s Sentinel-1 Earth Observation mission – launching this year – as well as the ExoMars and BepiColombo science missions later this decade.