The Baker-Nunn Camera, designed by James Baker and Joseph Nunn, was created to observe both natural and man-made satellites orbiting at a great altitude. This high-precision telescopic tracking camera was used by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) to track artificial satellites from the 1950s to mid-1970s. The SAO set up a highly successful optical tracking system using a network of Baker-Nunn cameras at twelve tracking stations located in Argentina, Australia, Curacao, India, Iran, Japan, Peru, South Africa, Spain, and at three sites in the United States.
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory
Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) via Space History Division, NASM, Gift, 2012
9.46 Cubic feet ((8 boxes))
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of 8 cubic feet of documentation on the Baker-Nunn camera, including the following types of material: drawings, photographs, manuals and reports, and memorandums and correspondence
Artificial satellites -- Optical observations
Artificial satellites -- Tracking
Baker-Nunn Satellite Tracking Collection, Accession 2012-0014, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives