High definition views of Earth streamed from space

A joint venture between Canada, Russia and the UK will enable near-live video to be streamed back to Earth from two cameras installed in the International Space Station (ISS).

High definition views of Earth streamed from space
High definition views of Earth streamed from space

A joint venture between Canada, Russia and the UK will enable near-live video to be streamed back to Earth from two cameras installed in the International Space Station (ISS).

The two aerospace cameras -- one medium resolution and one high resolution – are being designed, built and tested by RAL Space, a UK firm based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Oxford, UK).

They will be installed aboard the Russian Soyuz Mission by astronauts on the ISS in late 2012 thanks to an agreement forged with the Russian Rocket and Space Corporation Energia and Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency.

Once mounted, the cameras will stream near-live video and static imagery to ground stations around the planet which will then be displayed on a website created by UrtheCast (Vancouver BC, Canada) -- a subsidiary of Earth Video Camera. The web site will also allow users to track the location of the Space Station as it passes over a particular geographic location.

The companies involved believe that the image data could have many potential uses in educational, as well as environmental and disaster monitoring applications.

The beta version of UrtheCast’s platform will be made available this summer. Those interested can become a beta subscriber by registering on the company’s web site.

-- Dave Wilson, Senior Editor, Vision Systems Design

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