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NASA to rely on Telemetrics camera control system for Atlantis liftoff

NASA flight control personnel and a team of engineers will keep a close watch on virtually every square inch of the Space Shuttle Atlantis prior to its January 2008 liftoff with the help of an advanced network of more than 200 cameras mounted around the Kennedy Space Center launch complex.

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

The camera control solution provides a 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.

Employing a GUI, the software solution 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. The system is also integrated with NASA’s advanced data transmission infrastructure, which provides critical information to various locations throughout the Kennedy Space Center.

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