Baker-Nunn camera

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

Baker–Nunn camera

(bay -ker nun) A wide-field astronomical camera, similar to the Schmidt camera (see Schmidt telescope), designed for satellite tracking. It uses a spherical primary mirror but replaces the Schmidt correcting plate with a three-element achromatic correcting lens.
Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Baker-Nunn Camera


an apparatus for photographing artificial earth satellites against the background of stars; it is also called a satellite camera. The optical system is the Schmidt system with a tricomponent correcting system; the diameter of the correcting lens measures 508 mm, and the aperture ratio is 1:1. The focal surface is almost spherical in shape; the angular dimensions of the frame are 5 × 30°. The camera is mounted on a base having vertical, horizontal, and orbital axes. Such a system permits the optical axis of the camera to inscribe any large circle with an angular velocity ranging from 0 to 7,000’’/sec. The shutter is of an obturator type, and its performance is registered to an accuracy of 0.0001 sec. The satellite’s position is registered on a photograph to an accuracy of 2–3’’. The camera is named after the American firms that manufacture the optical and mechanical parts of the instrument (J. Baker and J. Nunn, respectively). It was constructed in the USA in 1957 by F. L. Whipple and J. A. Hynek.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Baker-Nunn camera

[¦bāk·ər ¦nən ′kam·rə]
A large camera with a Schmidt-type lens system used to track earth satellites.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Moonwatch volunteers provided much of the initial orbital information on Sputnik, because Baker-Nunn cameras were only then being deployed and Minitrack, which had become minimally operational only a few days earlier, was designed to detect radio signals transmitted by U.S.
During the first two months of 1959, SPACETRACK was designated System 496L, and the Cambridge Research Center purchased five Baker-Nunn cameras to support R&D projects and tracking operations.
In June 1961 Roy resigned from the CSIR and returned to work at the Baker-Nunn camera until May 1964.
However, the network of Baker-Nunn cameras hadn't been built, let alone shipped to their stations worldwide, by early October 1957.