Before freefall cameras came along, the most effective option for filming was a camera attached to skydivers’ helmets. People have tried using drones, but they are not as helpful as the freefall camera.
Creation of the Freefall Camera
Before the advent of the freefall camera, most skydivers could only attach a helmet camera. However, the camera view is limited, and there are some angles that the camera cannot capture.
However, with the creation of the freefall camera, by David Alatorre Troncoso and David Branson III, skydivers might no longer need the helmet camera. Although the helmet camera has even saved people’s lives:https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/10606334/Dramatic-moment-unconscious-skydiver-rescued-mid-air-captured-on-helmet-camera.html free fall accidents before, it is still limited in many ways.
Functioning of the Freefall Camera (FFC)
The freefall camera is built to control its terminal velocity and position in relation to a falling object. It has vertical ailerons, four in total, for yaw controlling and also the horizontal position. The pair of rectangular flaps on the FFC is for increasing or reducing the drag, which helps speed up or slow down the camera.
The GoPro is for recording as the CMUcam5 acts as the vision sensor. It keeps track of several coloured blobs which helps it keep its focus on the subject. The FFC can track a moving person up to 0.25 metres vertically and about 12 degrees to the camera’s view space.
The first edition of the FFC got distracted by bright lights and other backgrounds. This realisation called for a test while using an infrared beacon to help in the tracking. The camera detects an altitude which steers a parachute to pop on its top which helps to land the FFC. The controller can then specify a landing point using GPS functionalities.
The camera is still in the testing phase, but so far, the results are very promising.