10 YEARS AGO — 2003 Happy 50th Corvette!: Chevrolet is celebrating the Corvette’s 50th Anniversary by offering a special 50th Anniversary Edition package for the 2003 Corvette Coupe and convertible models. The Anniversary Edition has a standard Corvette LS1 engine and Magnetic Selective Ride Control. It also sports a special red exterior paint and specific badging, a color-coordinated interior and instrument panel, distinctive wheels, and embroidered badges on the seats and floor mats.
30 YEARS AGO — 1983 Army gets biggest image processor: A digital image-processing system was delivered to the Army’s Engineer Topographic Laboratories by Comtal Corp., a subsidiary of 3M Co. The system consists of two “subsystems,” each with three processing and display channels: two 512 × 512 channels and a 1,024 × 1,024 channel. It can manipulate complete 1,024 × 1,024 images in real time at 40 MHz, four times faster than conventional 512 × 512 image-processing systems. The dual-user system employs two 2,048 × 2,048 by 8-bit database memories, and allows concurrent exploitation of any two types of digital imagery. When in this mode, the two operators work together and match one type of imagery to the other using a hardwired, 6 DOF geometric “mapper.”
50 YEARS AGO — 1963 A record altitude of 40,000 ft was reached by this Geocap blimp, built by VIRON, Anoka, Minn., a division of Geophysics Corp. of America. In a reliability test, the blimp flew for over a week at an altitude of 1 mile, carrying a 6,000-lb payload. A variety of Geocaps is being built to lift as much as 10,000 lb of scientific, military, or commercial payloads. Made from coated fabric and filled with helium, the new blimps are extremely lightweight compared to barrage balloons used in World War I and II.