February 20, 2014
Two Earth Sensing Cameras On ISS Pass Initial Functioning Tests
Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Two Earth sensing cameras that are installed on the International Space Station (ISS) have successfully passed initial functioning tests. Engineering teams from UrtheCast and RSC Energia have confirmed that data from the two cameras can be captured and stored on the orbiting lab’s Data Handling Unit and downlinked to Earth.
The High Resolution Camera (HRC), which will be producing 1-meter class, full-color videos, and the Medium Resolution Camera (MRC), which will be producing 6-meter class, 30-mile-wide swaths of imagery, have both passed their initial tests and on are on track to become fully-functioning systems.
The team is continuing to calibrate the MRC using the initial test images it has produced. The team is also continuing to calibrate the HRC’s precision pointing platform, which is required before test imagery can be acquired by the HRC.
“With both cameras functioning as anticipated, we are now focusing on further commissioning and calibration of the cameras and the pointing platform for the HRC. This will allow us to unveil our first official full color, Ultra HD video, which is expected in Q2,” explained UrtheCast’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr. George Tyc. “This is a tremendous achievement for the engineering teams at UrtheCast and RSC Energia. We’re extremely grateful for the hard work that they’ve provided, especially over the past few months.”
The first commercial grade video and images will soon be released under UrtheCast’s dedicated marketing effort. The company remains focused on the commissioning of its cameras and related systems on the ISS, ground system testing at Moscow and the continuation of its business plan.
The twin UrtheCast cameras arrived on the ISS in November after launching aboard Russia’s Progress 53P cargo ship. The cameras were installed on January 27, 2014 by Expedition 38 crew members during a six-hour, eight-minute spacewalk.