The CAMS system comprises a deployment of multiple narrow-field, low-light video cameras that completely covers the sky in a mosaic pattern from 30° elevation and above. Two or three such camera batteries separated by many kilometers allow for large atmospheric volume coverage, high spatial resolution, and the high probability of viewing a meteor from more than one site for triangulation and thus atmospheric path reconstruction.

The software package for CAMS entails a set of independent application modules to process video meteor imagery from multi-site observations to final orbital element reporting. It includes modules for video ingest and digitization, compression to a customized format, frame extraction with spatial-temporal transient streak (meteor) detection, calibration of the field of view for spatial astrometry and magnitude light curves, coincidence event detection from multiple views, atmospheric trajectory estimation, and Keplerian orbital elements reports per event.

The CAMS software package is made up of sub-functions and extensions of algorithms developed for various previous projects in meteor astronomy. The video ingest capability utilizes the video input software library (license-free distribution) for capturing video frames to computer memory via USB ports. The image compression technique is an enhanced version of an algorithm initially used in the SkyPatrol video meteor capture software. The meteor detection software employs the transient line detection module library embedded in MeteorScan.

This work was done by Peter Gural of Science Application Intl. Corp. and Petrus Jenniskens of the SETI Institute for Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16800-1

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the July, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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