A camera invented at the Langley Field Laboratory has captured images at an astonishing 40,000 frames/s, providing researchers with a great deal of insight concerning the phenomenon of knock in spark-ignition engines over a six-year period.
The high-speed motion picture camera operates on a principle that its inventors call optical compensation. The photosensitive film used in the camera is kept continuously in motion and the photographic images are moved with the film such that each image remains stationary relative to the film during the time of its exposure.
That's right. This isn't a digital camera at all, but a film camera. But perhaps even more remarkable is that it that was invented in February 1936! The first working version of the camera was constructed in the Norfolk Navy Yard during 1938 and the camera operated successfully first time on December 16, 1938 at Langley Field.
Now, thanks to an article written by Cearcy Miller, interested readers can not only discover exactly how the camera was designed but also view some high-speed motion pictures of familiar objects that illustrate the quality of the photographs taken by the camera at the time.
If you thought that high-speed imaging was a relatively new idea, why not check out how the engineers solved the problem all those years ago!