Space Daily has a good story on the new imaging equipment developed for the WB-57 chase planes NASA uses to cover shuttle launches.
The jets will carry innovative, on-board video imaging systems, dubbed the WB-57 Ascent Video Experiment (WAVE).
The system will capture detailed images of how the Space Shuttle behaves, as it climbs toward orbit.
During the launch, the jets will keep pace with Discovery, flying at a distance of 15 to 20 miles.
The WAVE systems will track the Shuttle for approximately 150 seconds, from liftoff to separation of the Solid Rocket Boosters, the power systems that provide the main thrust to lift Discovery off the pad.
NASA video technicians built and tested the high-definition imaging system earlier this year.
They called in optics specialists from Marshall’s Space Optics Manufacturing Technology Center to design the camera lens and split the video feed, enabling it to simultaneously record the Shuttle in visible light and infrared.
MO previously covered some of the new ground cameras with 10,000mm lenses that will also be tracking the launch.
The WB-57 chase planes are converted B-57 Canberra bombers. The two flying for NASA are the last two operational B-57s in the world.