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Scaling Device for Photographic Images


A scaling device for photographic images is a tool that can be attached directly to a charge-coupled device (CCD) or film cameras and, through use of four laser beams, projects a known pattern into the field of view. When a photo is taken, the image of this pattern appears, along with the image of the object under investigation, allowing the viewer quantifiable information as to the size of the object. The device is small, powered with a 3-volt battery, and can be easily turned off and on, allowing the photographer to provide scaling information within a picture as needed. NASA’s need for this development was inspired by hailstorm damage to the space shuttle’s external tank.

Telephoto lenses are used to zoom in and see the damage clearly, yet the end viewer cannot determine the scale of the damage because there is no reference object in the image. In many photographic situations an object, such as a ruler, is placed within the field of view so that when the photo is seen, the viewer will have a visual indication of the scale of the other objects in it. For situations where this procedure is not possible, this innovation supplies a solution.

For more information, visit NASA technology locator and search for case KSC-12201.

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