I'm looking to research on mounted cameras on supersonic planes, sounding rockets and what cameras can survive the flight as temperatures go below upto -50 C. The range I'm looking at is about -25 to -50 C, what still functions without much worries and if there are things needed for them to work at such temperatures.

Edit: To clarify, we're working on an object that will be heading to the high altitudes and there's a point at 10 km altitude where temperatures go down to -50 C . We'd like footage at a decent fps, but we're willing to sacrifice it in case of poor performance at low temperatures. Batteries will not be a problem as they will be externally managed during the flight and can go to lower temperatures. We'd like no distortion and sufficient changes in exposure for various light brightness as the object travels through layers of atmosphere.

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    Nothing off the shelf probably, because batteries only work down to -20°C unless you use some lead batteries – Alexander von Wernherr Sep 25 '18 at 8:12
  • Use something very low in energy consumption and power it from suitable double layer capacitors, or something purely mechanical (but lubricants and films still get kinda stiff too!), or... heat the camera (by electrical heating, or chemical heating, or waste heat from your vehicle...)... – rackandboneman Sep 25 '18 at 11:35
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    Is that -25°C to 50°C, or do you really mean -25°C to -50°C? – Caleb Sep 25 '18 at 13:57
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    When you say, "action cameras," do you have a minimum shutter speed in mind? Do you have any resolution requirements? What about lenses and focal lengths? Are you photographing parts of equipment up close through this journey or turning around and aiming at the ground? What are your overall size dimensions for the camera and lens? How quickly will the camera be subject to going from ground ambient temps to negative degrees? (are you worrying about condensation?) – OnBreak. Sep 25 '18 at 15:34
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because you're looking for a video camera on a site that is devoted to still photography. – OnBreak. Sep 26 '18 at 19:55

For sounding rockets, just use an insulated enclosure with the lens sticking out -- flight time is short, and thermal inertia should keep the camera working. A hand-warmer containing iron filings and salt water might keep it warmer, if need be. Since these heaters require oxygen, they'll slow in less-dense atmosphere, where the need is less because of low thermal conductivity.

Supersonic aircraft have the opposite problem: heating due to air resistance, so you still need thermal isolation.

L. Paul Verhage has an excellent series of articles on near-space science, including photography using a variety of cameras (Raspberry Pi NoIR camera in Sep/Oct Nuts & Volts magazine).

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  • Just go search Amazon deals. Always discount brand "Go" cameras there. Specific gear recommendation is pretty much off-topic. – user31502 Sep 26 '18 at 17:24

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