The most significant aspect of this new British development -- the Camera-carrying Skylark for which BAC is industrial agent--is that now for a fraction of the cost of a survey satellite the means exist for any country to conduct its own rocket survey over large tracts of territory.
Skylark on RAE/BAC Launcher
Skylark on Launcher
Skylark Rocket Nose
Payload being integrated at RAE Farnborough
Zoom in on Horison Sensor
Cameras on Payload
Camera lens with Rotating Filters
Animation Sequence showing sequence of events from Launch to Impact
Map of Australia showing segment coverage of Skylark cameras
Photograph taken from K.R.T.S Skylark Rocket (Colour)
B&W Photograph taken from Skylark K.R.T.S. Rocket
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Background: The most significant aspect of this new British development -- the Camera-carrying Skylark for which BAC is industrial agent--is that now for a fraction of the cost of a survey satellite the means exist for any country to conduct its own rocket survey over large tracts of territory.
Whilst it is accepted that the interpretation of the photographs taken from rockets is a science in the early state of development, initial results from the first launch in Australia illustrated previously unknown geological and water drainage features.
The programme launch of two skylarks in Argentina this month is over more varied terrain and it is expected that in one brief flight, valuable information will be gathered enabling the Argentine Government to more effectively control its natural resources.
SYNOPSIS: Skylark is launched to a high altitude in space so that a far larger area of the Earth's surface can be surveyed than is possible by either photographic survey aircraft or balloons with their ceiling limitations. The 1st stage boost separates at 6 seconds and falls about 1 km. from the launcher. The payload separates from the 2nd stage motor at 65 seconds and both of these follow this ballistic trajectory in free space. The Control system is initiate and the payload is maintained with the lateral axis vertical. Cameras are switched on and allowed to run taking photographs every 2 1/2 secs. To increase ground coverage the axes of the camera are offset and the payload is stepped around every 20 seconds.
The cameras are switched off and both payload and empty motor tube are recovered on parachutes initiated by barometric switches. Simple tracking aids can be fitted to assist location of the payload.