From Dr Timothy J PARKER
® . . . . . . . .Date: Mon, 29 Sep 2003 13:17:01 -0700
Subject: Mars Observations, September 28th
Attached are my observations from the 28th of September. Seeing started out mediocre, but was improving enough that I started imaging. After I imaged with the ToUcam for a while, I decided to try swapping for the 3Com camera. This was because the transparency was dropping, and at 1/25th" exposure time with the ToUcam, I had to bump up the gain to where Mars was pretty noisy through the 6". The 3Com can shoot at 1/4" second, which proved to be the solution to the noisy images.
I note that many websites about using webcams for astroimaging say that the 3com has a Sharp CCD in it. But it looks identical to the Phillips chip, and the images of Mars with the same optical system are exactly the same size, so it must be a Sony chip in the 3Com (though it might be an earlier version, because the camera is about 3 years old now).
Tim PARKER (JPL/CIT,
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
Mail Stop 183-501
Research Scientist (Geologist)
Mars Exploration Rover
Director, Regional Planetary Image Facility