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Software Control for NASA Cameras
Case Studies/Whitepapers

Government Video.jpgGovernment Video online article (December 17, 2007 by GV Staff).

When there’s a countdown to launch of the space shuttle from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, NASA flight control personnel and a team of engineers are keeping a close watch on virtually every square inch of the spacecraft with the help of an advanced network of more than 200 cameras mounted around the launch complex.

The vast number of cameras, mounted in explosion-proof housings designed to withstand the heat and pressure of the launch, are programmed and controlled using a unique software control solution developed for NASA by Telemetrics. In addition to providing launch operations and engineers the ability to monitor and select critical views of the space shuttle, video feeds from the system are also made available for the scores of broadcasters covering the event. The new system will support NASA’s aggressive schedule of shuttle launches for 2008.

“Telemetrics’ development of a remote camera control solution for Kennedy Space Center’s launch operations was unique from other broadcast studio and legislative camera control systems we’ve implemented because of the large number of cameras involved,” said Anthony C. Cuomo, president of Telemetrics. “This system needed to accommodate a wide selection of SD, HD, and IR cameras from different manufacturers already deployed at the launch site, as well as various downstream processing devices such as video switchers and data interfaces, to provide a seamless solution for the video system’s operators.”

The camera control solution developed by Telemetrics’ for NASA provides flexible architecture to accommodate various manufacturers control protocols along with advanced camera control capabilities. Control of camera positions, CCU controls, and peripheral devices provide system operators with efficient control of all critical camera functions and positioning.

Through its GUI, the software provides the ability to display the cameras’ status and control the different existing manufacturers’ cameras, lenses, and pan/tilt units. The software is deployed over a dual Ethernet connection for critical redundancy of the system, and it’s integrated with NASA’s advanced data transmission infrastructure, which provides critical information to various locations throughout the Kennedy Space Center.