Design Engineering

UrtheCast and MDA to pioneer HD Earth video from space

By Design Engineering Staff   

General Aerospace Aerospace MDA UrtheCast

Cameras mounted on ISS to stream high definition imagery of global events in progress.

Vancouver – B.C.-based UrtheCast has signed MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA) to a contract to provide information solutions and project management services to help the B.C.-based start-up launch the world’s first HD video platform of Earth from the International Space Station (ISS). Information solutions in this agreement include space data handling hardware (data compression units), which will be integrated into UrtheCast’s two high-definition video cameras.

“We are thrilled to have MDA as part of this project and to be able to add them to a team that already includes RSC Energia, Rutherford Appleton Labs in the UK, and the Russian Federal Space Agency,” says Scott Larson, president of UrtheCast. “A project like this is obviously quite involved and complex, and MDA is the right partner.”

Once installed by astronauts on the ISS in late 2012, the UrtheCast cameras will begin streaming near-real-time HD video and static imagery to Earth, similar to a live version of Google Earth. Image data will be offered through the company’s consumer-centric website,

According to the company, the platform will be open-sourced, allowing users to create applications for sale on the UrtheCast website. As the Space Station passes over a particular geographic location, video data and imagery will be collected of that area. In addition, users will be able to track the Space Station’s orbital path.



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