DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An optical video disc with a simulated beam of laser light. The optical disc uses technology similar to that used by digital compact discs to store information. In this instance, the disc holds many images from the US Space Shuttle programme in digital form. When inserted into a playing device, the disc is scanned by a minute laser beam. The beam uses the reflective properties of the disc to pick up the digital information, displaying the picture on a video monitor or producing a paper hard copy from a printer. Each 30cm diameter disc may contain many hundreds of full colour images, and are particularly useful for archival storage.
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