NASA's High-Speed Rocket Booster Video Might Be the Coolest Thing on the Internet
What's your favorite super slow motion video ever? Whatever it is, it's about to change after you watch this test footage from NASA.
There are plenty of high-speed videos on the internet and you probably have your favorites. (My all-time favorite is this video of slow-mo sneezes.) However, NASA has basically put all of them to shame with their video of a rocket booster test they conducted using their super camera, the High Dynamic Range Stereo X (HiDyRS-X), which not only records in high speed, but it also captures multiple simultaneous exposures in order to produce the incredible HDR footage you're about to see.
So yeah, the video is pretty damn cool and impressive, but the fact that NASA has created a camera that has the capabilities needed to record such a thing is what's more impressive. The HiDyRS-X project was launched in order to address an issue with filming rocket motor tests, namely trying to properly expose the extremely bright rocket motor plumes without obscuring parts of the motor.
Here's a description of the HiDyRS-X from NASA:
HiDyRS-X records high speed, high dynamic range footage in multiple exposures simultaneously for use in analyzing rocket engine tests. Traditional high speed video cameras are limited to shooting in one exposure at a time, but HiDyRS-X can record multiple high speed video exposures at once, combining them into a high dynamic range video that adequately exposes all areas of the video image for comprehensive analysis.
By comparing these two images of NASA's rocket boosters, you can see how powerful the HDR imaging is in the HiDyRS-X.
Though NASA's HiDyRS-X camera isn't all that applicable in the world of filmmaking, this kind of technology might end up being promising in the future, especially in terms of how the camera's exposure technology works—one commenter on PetaPixel wondered if the ISO varies from pixel to pixel.