Jul 22, 2008

The Moon in 3D

The concept of 3D video and television has been around for quite a while now, but it is slowly becoming a reality. Viewers in Japan can already receive an hour a day of 3D broadcasts, which can be viewed on special LCD TVs with polarized glasses.

Philips is even working on a system (WOWvx)to do away with the glasses, allowing the whole family to enjoy 3D images just the way we enjoy normal TV now!

But regardless of the way we view 3D images and movies, they have to be recorded first! And that generally means 2 cameras, with a spacing similar to the human eye, recording in sync. From this, 3D scenes can be rendered and, on the Moon, scientific data can be obtained (distances, crater depths etc.) opening up a whole new prospect for in-situ geology. Coupled with this, having a 3D image of the scene makes tele-operation of a lunar rover much more manageable.

Remember: this isn't like the Mars rovers with a little training, a human operator can get used to the delay and adapt to real-time operations on the lunar surface. So should we record the Moon in 3D? Definitely! After all, why take one camera, when you could take two!

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