Visionary Solutions Inc. announced that NASA has chosen the company's AVN443 encoder to transmit HD video signals from the International Space Station (ISS) to Earth, providing NASA with a high-quality, real-time video signal that will be used to produce coverage of missions and events, documentaries, archival video, and other unique programming for NASA TV.
NASA is upgrading its internal cameras onboard the International Space Station to commercial standard 720p/1080i formats, thus requiring new encoders capable of transmitting a high-definition signal. Through a combination of Visionary Solutions' H.264 hardware compression and optimized transmission technology, the AVN443 encoders provide an HD, full-frame rate, IP video stream from within the ISS, as well as an external view of the ISS and a view of Earth.
Prior to being installed aboard the ISS, the AVN443s survived a rigorous evaluation, including radiation tolerance testing. The AVN443s installed onboard the ISS are currently the only encoders certified for spaceflight. Throughout the entire testing phase, Visionary Solutions offered consistent support to ensure that the encoders would provide a high-quality signal during the crucial mission. The encoders incorporate low power consumption of less than 5 watts, efficient heat dissipation, and are lightweight, making them well suited for deployment in space.
Paired with Sencore's MRD 3187B modular receiver decoders, the AVN443 encoders compress the video signals from multiple high-definition video cameras onboard the ISS. The Sencore MRDs receive the IP video streams back on Earth and decode them into HD video feeds for NASA's monitoring and rebroadcast use. The modular architecture and multichannel capability of both products provide a space-saving and bandwidth-efficient solution to the challenges of delivering multiple high-quality HD video services from an orbiting space station.
The AVN443 encoder's flexible, modular architecture can adapt to different input resolutions, including 720p, 1080i, and 1080p, providing NASA with a cost-effective and scalable broadcast solution. Through a simple upgrade made in the field, NASA can upgrade its encoders easily to 1080p in the future, without having to send the encoder back to Earth.
"Visionary Solutions is proud to partner with NASA and Sencore to produce a high-quality IP video stream for NASA TV," said Yuri Stetner, technical sales manager, Visionary Solutions. "After being put to the test, our AVN443 encoders have proven that they're capable of transmitting superior images from the harshest operating environments. The combined solution — AVN443 encoders with Sencore MRD 3187B decoders — provides NASA with a reliable, future-proof solution that will enable people on Earth to experience images from space in full high-definition glory."