Shotgun pellets traveling at 790 mph.

Researchers at the California company, MetroLaser, specializing in high-speed imaging equipment have developed a camera add-on capable of freezing objects traveling at up to 7,500 miles per hour — that’s almost 10 times the speed of sound.



MetroLaser, a company based in Los Angeles suburb Laguna Hills, just announced the development of a new type of digital camera system designed to replace the high-speed film cameras still used by some automobile test tracks and others today. The process was detailed in a paper published by the Society of Photographic Instrumentation Engineers.

The design is an adaptation of the “streak camera,” in which film moves behind a vertical slit installed behind the aperture. The process creates a long, continual composite image of the moving object. Film for such cameras is no longer manufactured, however, so the U.S. Air Force hired MetroLaser to come up with a digital replacement.

The new system relies on a moving mirror that precisely tracks the object being photographed and reflects the image onto a camera’s sensor to create a continuous image. The system could also be classified as a “schlieren camera,” in that it captures the wave of moving air pushed forward by the object being photographed.

The system works with a standard DSLR and flash, making it broadly adaptable for ballistics researchers, racetracks, aeronautical engineers and other high-speed camera users.

“The real power of this approach,” MetroLaser engineer Benjamin Buckner tells, “is that you can take almost any kind of existing camera back and fit it into a rig like this to turn it into a high-speed streak camera.”

Via PetaPixel