April 2, 2009

It's unlikely you have one of these gadgets sitting in your garage.....

...But probably somebody does somewhere. Anthony Watts (His blog Watts Up With That? is an indispensable source on the subject of global warming) writes....

Readers: Your help needed to recover old satellite imagery:

...As WUWT readers know, I covered a fascinating project on 3/31 here showing how a team of dedicated technical archaeologists are trying to get old AMPEX 2" reel to reel data recorders functional again so that they can recover thousands of moon and earth images from the 1960's that would otherwise be lost to history. There is a current scientific interest in the images, as some may help determine the extent of polar ice during those years.

I've offered WUWT as a vehicle to help find parts and manuals. You may have access to these things and not know it. Ask around, especially with the old-timers in your department, and check your dusty basements and storage areas. - Anthony...

...The Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project (LOIRP), is a NASA ESMD funded project to recover the original Lunar Orbiter analog data which was recorded on an Ampex FR-900 2" video instrumentation recorder. As far as we know, we have the last surviving drives of this type in the world. We have retired Ampex engineers working with us on this project but the FR-900 was a limited use machine (exclusively the U.S. government at the FAA, USAF, NASA).

What we need is to find any possible source of documentation (we know about the Stanford Archive and have been there many times) for the FR-900 or the possibility of actual machines.

There are similar machines with the numbers FR-901, FR-902, FR-950 that are close enough that we can use any information on them....
Posted by John Weidner at April 2, 2009 3:54 PM
Weblog by John Weidner