NASA’S KENNEDY SPACE CENTER – CHESA DESIGNS DIGITAL SOLUTION FOR LAUNCH VIDEO CAPTURE AND DELIVERY
NASA’s vision is to discover and expand knowledge for the benefit of humanity. Artemis I, formerly Exploration Mission-1, is the first in a series of increasingly complex missions that will enable human exploration to the Moon and Mars. There are not very many imaging environments more challenging — or more critical — than the one that supports launches at NASA Kennedy Space Center. During the planned liftoff of Artemis 1 (EM-1), 80 to 100 cameras will capture the event from every possible angle, and keep tracking the rocket and its payload until it is out of sight. The data—which includes images and video taken with motion picture film and high-resolution video cameras at speeds of up to 1,000 frames per second—weigh in at around 200TB per mission. This information must be available to engineers and flight specialists in several different NASA centers as rapidly as possible.
Defining requirements for, selecting, testing, and installing its first fully digital workflow system for launch videos was a major task for NASA and the contractors overseeing the transition. The original system, which dates back to the days of the Space Shuttle program, started with analog tape or as photographic film that had to be rushed to an out- of-state processing center after each takeoff for development and digitization.
It took two days to get film processed and
available as a file so NASA could analyze the high-res slow-motion footage. The asset management system couldn’t handle the complete process so access data was delayed. It was really more suited to documents than to video and image data.
- Jeff Wolfe
Communications System Engineer at Abacus Technology
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