Imperx Collaborates with NASA to Redefine the 'Rugged' Camera

Imperx’s new digital CMOS cameras employ SONY 4th generation Pregius STM IMX487 image sensor for ultraviolet imaging and applications.

February 06, 2024, BOCA RATON, FLORIDA  

When engineers at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center started their search for cameras to use in the Artemis I mission, performance in challenging environmental conditions was top of mind. The cameras would operate near the heat and vibration of a rocket engine during launch, and then continue imaging in the extreme cold and harsh radiation of space. Florida-based Imperx is well known for high-reliability, ruggedized cameras, so it was not a surprise that Imperx’s Cheetah camera came out on top during NASA’s initial testing.

Imperx’s SPC-S2010 camera was designed in collaboration with NASA to withstand the harsh environments of the launch pad and space

The collaboration that ensued resulted in a new camera model, the SPC-S2010. Thanks to expertise from both NASA and Imperx engineers, combined with multiple iterations of environmental testing, the SPC-S2010 sets a new bar for cameras ruggedized to withstand extremes in temperature, vibration, and radiation.  “The environmental range on these cameras is insane,” said Jarret Bone, a NASA mechanical engineer working on the project, noting that one of the cameras survived eight minutes positioned just a few feet from the blasting rocket engine, followed by the frigid space environment. During the Artemis I mission, the uncrewed Orion spacecraft launched on the Space Launch System super-heavy-lift rocket and traveled thousands of miles beyond the Moon, over the course of about a three-week mission.


Imperx’s ruggedized SPC-S2010 camera resulted from a collaboration with NASA to meet the needs of the Artemis I mission, which tested the Orion spacecraft and SLS (Space Launch System) rocket for use on a future manned space mission.

The commercialization of an off-the-shelf version of the ruggedized camera was highlighted as a NASA Spin Off by NASA’s Technology Transfer Program, noting that Imperx’s commercial camera is now available for use in aerospace, drilling, mining, and other industries where cameras withstanding extremes of temperature and vibration are needed. Video captured by the cameras during the November 2022 Artemis I launch can be viewed on NASA’s Spin Off web site (

“NASA engineers are highly educated, motivated, and they’re imaginative. They are willing to try things that haven’t been tried before,” said Greg Pangburn, Imperx CFO. “This experience has helped us make a camera that can withstand being mounted on an airplane, which goes from ground level up to 36,000-40,000 feet and then comes back down,” he said. “It works perfectly during all of those altitude changes, whether it’s hot or cold outside, if it’s raining or snowing.”

SPC-S2010 camera features a global shutter CMOS sensor with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 in a 1/2.35” optical format delivering up to 60 fps with selectable 3G-SDI (SMPTE® 424-1) or HD-SDI (SMPTE® 292M) output. The SPC-S2010 camera’s excellent sensitivity and amazing dynamic range make it suitable for a broad range of demanding missions including applications in launch vehicle monitoring, commercial aviation, military aerospace, drilling and mining. The camera employs an integrated thermal management system which provides the ability to pre warm the electronics for use in extreme environments and features a 2KVAC power input isolation design that protects the internal electronics from power surges caused by lightening or other sources. The logic interface protection is rated at 5KVrms. The camera is equipped with an integrated LED illumination ring that supports continuous or strobed illumination and is offered with 8 factory installed lens options.

As with all Imperx camera models, options for both customization and US-based manufacturing are available. For more information about Imperx’s ruggedized camera offerings, visit or contact [email protected].

About Imperx, Inc. Imperx, Inc. is a leading global designer and manufacturer of superior quality digital imaging products and software. With headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida and a distribution network that spans the globe, Imperx provides high-reliability imaging solutions worldwide in aerospace and defense, machine vision, transportation, engineered systems, and automation. Sign up for the Imperx newsletter at

Press inquiries:

Melissa Pangburn
Imperx, Inc.
[email protected]
+1 561 989 0006 x116