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NASA Turns to Video Technics to Digitally Document Rocket Engine Testing with 48 Channel Apella™ Video Server System

Atlanta, GA (February 3 , 2011) – NASA’s Stennis Space Center (SSC) will always be recognized as the center that tested and proved flight-worthy the rocket engines and boosters that were safely used on the lunar space mission that brought “a giant leap for mankind.” For over forty years, SSC has been involved in testing rocket engines and parts for various missions such as those for the Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. Having been involved in testing for such a long period, the space center recently began updating much of its rocket engine test equipment, including its video systems. This includes the Apella™ video recording system that NASA acquired from Video Technics, Inc.

The decision was made to move into digital recording where cameras in blast resistant housings film the testing of rockets to provide a record of the testing events. The cameras on the test stand provide surveillance for the entire facility, but are also used during rocket testing, which has a test cycle that ranges from once or twice a week to once every two weeks. During a test, cameras feed video to the 24 video server inputs provided by Video Technics’ six Apella SDS eight-channel (4 IN / 4 OUT each) networked servers for a total of 24 record and 24 playback channels.

The Apella™ is a highly scalable, feature-packed media server built on an IT-centric foundation. Designed with open architecture and non-proprietary file formats, VT’s innovative software solutions are future-proofed and flexible for a variety of applications. Native support for AVI, MOV, and MXF file formats, real-time simulcast capability for HD and SD standards, closed captioning support for 608/708 standards, and transparent redundancy and failover are just a few of the server capabilities. The Apella SDS offers seamless workflow solutions for content management and automated multi-channel delivery and can be easily upgraded to HD. The Apella is designed to work with the VT Proxy Editor™ application that provides frame accurate low-resolution desktop editing functionality and the ability to render these sequences as new media files on the server and export them to be completed in a nonlinear editor.

VT Record™ software is used to apply custom metadata to each record session and gang multiple channels together using house time code. A test at Stennis is recorded for its entire duration, then the servers are stopped and the video is reviewed to allow the test team to determine if anything untoward occurred during the test. If the test was considered successful, the engineers would use VT Proxy Editor to trim a sequence and then drag and drop the timeline with media from the video server to an NLE so that they could add titles and export the video in a variety of formats. The Apella SDS servers are HD- ready and the software codecs can be easily upgraded with a simple software update.

Rocket engine tests can be expensive and sometimes impossible to repeat, therefore, it is necessary to run the solution in parallel by recording the same camera feeds to multiple channels. This flexibility in user configuration provides more redundancy and greater security when needed. In fact, during a recent test of a new rocket engine, the J2X, which was tested for 500 seconds, the VT solution recorded the video from all of the cameras, and captured all of the digital video.

“We are very proud to have NASA relying on the quality of our products,” said Andy Tuggle, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Video Technics, “With the Apella SDS, VT Record, and VT Proxy Editor NASA engineers have the right solution for recording, managing, and playing back their mission critical media content.

About Video Technics, Inc.

Video Technics, Inc., a pioneer in revolutionary systems development, supplies the global broadcast industry with innovative, feature-rich workflow solutions built around the company’s IT-based media servers. Video Technics’ Apella™ and NewsFlow™ products streamline the entire production process, and feature inherent proxy editing, embedded ingest/playout tools, and digital asset management. For more information visit:

About Stennis Space Center

For more than four decades, John C. Stennis Space Center in south Mississippi has served as NASA’s primary rocket propulsion testing ground. Today, the center provides propulsion test services for NASA and the Department of Defense, as well as the private sector. It also hosts NASA’s Rocket Propulsion Test Program, which is responsible for managing all of the agency’s propulsion test facilities. For more information visit