Boller & Chivens 2

This is just a very short entry to say that the company that built the cameras (Boller & Chivens) has an excellent website describing the Baker-Nunn cameras. They discuss not only the SAO and Air Force tracking cameras but also the ‘Missile Re-entry Camera’ that was produced. I had never heard of this one before but it’s pretty cool. Take a regular Baker-Nunn camera modify the mount somewhat, change the film transport mechanism, stick some fiber optic bundles at the focus, and add a set of prisms in front of the corrector to disperse the light. Pretty simple, really… ;-) The amazing thing is that, not only did it work, but it could pull the 4″ wide film through the camera at a rate of 5 frames per second!


2 thoughts on “Boller & Chivens

  1. Jack Nelson Aug 24, 2013 20:46

    I am trying to discover if any kind of camera telescope capable of photographing satellites was at the NASA Madagascar station.
    Thanks, Jack

    • MM Aug 27, 2013 21:24

      Hi Jack! Thanks for your question. The short answer, to the best of my knowledge, there wasn’t a Baker-Nunn at the Madagascar site. There were some political issues there that resulted NASA pulling out quickly and leaving their equipment behind. I don’t believe that included a Baker-Nunn.

      From what we know, 12 cameras were built for the SAO and (at least) 3 more for the USAF. I’ve located 13 of the cameras now and am only missing 2. Some have been destroyed, some are in museums, and others have been are in the process of being refurbished. Baker-Nunns were located at the following sites at one time or another…

      Organ Pass, USA
      Olifantsfontein, SA
      Woomera, AUS
      San Fernando, ES
      Tokyo, JP
      Naina Tal, IN
      Arequipa, PE
      Shiraz, IR
      Curacao, N.W.I.
      Jupiter, USA
      Villa Dolores, AR
      Maui, USA
      Cold Lake, CAN
      Natal, BR
      St. Margarets, CAN
      Sand Island
      Harestua, NO
      Santiago, Chile
      Mt. John, NZ
      San Vito, IT
      Pulmosan, SK
      Edwards AFB, USA
      Debre Zeyit, Ethiopia
      Comodoro Rivadavia, AR
      Athens, GR
      Mt. Hopkins, USA
      Dakar, Senegal
      Dodaira, JP
      Dionysos, GR

      There may be a few that I’ve missed but that is close to a complete list…

      I hope that helps!


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