Toshiba Imaging Systems Division, the global leader in high definition (HD) industrial camera technology, is also now a world-record holder in space flight HD imaging as the highest, high definition commercial ever made. Eight of Toshiba Imaging's ultra-compact IK-HR1S high-definition, one-piece cameras were recently aboard four missions to the edge of the earth's atmosphere.
Using the imagery captured by the 8 Toshiba cameras, Toshiba - UK produced a stunning 60-second HD commercial of a living room chair as it is carried into space by a simple helium balloon. The balloon flights were launched from a Nevada desert and ascended to an incredible, world-record 98,268 feet (18.6 miles!) altitude before breaking apart and falling back to earth. The IK-HR1S cameras' compact size (only 1.75" x 1.75" x 3") and the HD-SDI video output capability with switchable 1080i/720p scanning options, made them ideal for the flight missions to the edge of space.
The innovative Toshiba Space Chair footage was shot by cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos and directed by Andy Amadeo, creative director at Grey London, Toshiba's UK-based advertising firm. The custom-built camera rigging, with Toshiba's miniature hi-def cameras attached to the frame, was successfully engineered by John Powell of California-based JP Aerospace. The lightweight apparatus, with a full-sized model chair made from biodegradable balsa wood was less than 4 lbs., below the Federal Aviation Administration's controlled limits. Also attached to the rigging frame were four GPS systems to record altitude (accuracy was within four meters), longitude and latitude, and to monitor, via a computer satellite system, the location of the camera rig once it had fallen back to earth.
Toshiba Imaging's IK-HR1S ultra-lightweight (only 4.3 oz. without lens) and highly durable HD cameras helped make this world-record breaking mission possible. The extraordinary high definition footage captures the space chair from launch to upper atmosphere, where the space rig reached the low pressure/temperature at the edge of space, and the helium balloon expanded (from its original 8-ft diameter to over 24-feet) before shattering like glass.