NASA's Lunar Electric Rover covers Inaugural Parade

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Unique panoramic images of the 56th Inaugural Parade, which took place on 20 January following on from the swearing-in ceremonies for US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden, have been captured by NASA's Lunar Electric Rover. The rover, a concept vehicle that astronauts will use for future exploration of the moon, was equipped with a Ladybug3, a spherical digital camera system from Point Grey Research, to capture 360° digital video footage of the parade and Presidential Review Stand.

'We were honoured when NASA approached us looking for a way to capture panoramic images of this historic event,' said Vladimir Tucakov, director of sales and marketing at Point Grey Research. 'Working with the talented team of NASA engineers was also a privilege. They were familiar with our Ladybug3 and had some very specific requirements, such as the ability to generate panoramic video, select individual panoramic images from the video stream, and save specific still photos from each of the camera's six image sensors.'

The Ladybug3 camera was mounted at the top of a mast on the rover. Using the Ladybug SDK, NASA was able to control the camera, acquire full 12 Megapixel images (2 Megapixel from each of the six sensors) at 15fps for approximately 10 minutes, store the footage to a video stream file, then post-process the data into panoramic AVI's and still images.

'The goal of recording the parade with a panoramic camera mounted on the rover was to provide people with a truly unique perspective of this significant event,' said Michael Gibbons, product manager at Point Grey. 'The end result was 10 minutes of panoramic footage from the parade, which NASA has made available on its YouTube channel to people all over the world.'

The high resolution Ladybug3 spherical digital video camera system has six 2 Megapixel cameras that enable the system to collect video from more than 80 per cent of the full sphere.