NANO1, The Tiny Astronomy Camera
Tom Spendlove posted on December 24, 2018 |

The engineers at TinyMOS have a problem with light pollution. They say that 80 percent of Americans can't see the Milky Way due to ambient light in their environment, and that light can wash away the star light for telescopes. After developing the TINY1 as an astronomy camera in 2016 the group is back crowdfunding their NANO1, an even smaller astronomy camera.

TinyMOS focused their effort on design, using Sony complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensors directly behind the color filter and lens to expose the sensor to more light. They also designed to minimize thermal noise, using thin aluminum faceplate with a thermal interface pad, and suggesting to run the camera with a USB-C port instead of an internal battery. A 1200 milliAmp hour removable battery is also included with the camera, though, and runs approximately 100 minutes on a charge. The design page of TinyMOS' blog is a great discussion of design constraints and lens considerations.

NANO1 is 62.5 x 42 x 28.8 millimeters and weighs 100 grams. The 2.33 inch in-plane switch (IPS) touch screen gives 12 MegaPixel resolution and up to 4K60, 1080P120 and 720 video resolution. The camera accepts MicroSD cards up to 128 Gigabytes and is stabilized by a six axis gyroscope. The suggested temperature range for the camera is between -10 and 55 degrees Celsius.

TinyMOS has put work into redesigning their current product going back to design requirements and constraints while keeping the best parts of their first camera. Visually it's striking to see a camera so small in a user's hand and realize that the lens is quckly becoming the biggest part of the assembly. One of my favorite parts of any telescope / camera project is seeing the photos that the team has taken, and there are plenty of those on the company's blog. A nice touch on the campaign page also talks about manufacturing risk and the steps they've taken to address sourcing, quality control, assembly and packaging. The campaign is already successful and ends on January 18, 2019.

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