RGB Spectrum’s Recording and Matrix Switching Technology Helps Ensure Kennedy Space Center’s Launch Success

NASA Launch Control Center uses RGB Spectrum's DGy codecs

The evolving role of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center (KSC) includes a growing volume of services for private companies, such as SpaceX, for commercial aerospace and space exploration. Ensuring a successful spacecraft launch requires meticulous planning, monitoring and execution with zero-failure tolerance and the KSC is undergoing an upgrade of its launch systems and facilities.

Monitoring weather conditions is a mission-critical component in the pre-launch process. KSC’s state-of-the-art weather monitoring systems deploy advanced sensor technology, including the most accurate lightning detection capability.

The weather (WX) instrumentation includes synchronized high-speed video cameras and electromagnetic/electrical current sensors throughout the complex. When the WX system’s sensors are activated by qualified triggers, the cameras are initiated to capture high-speed video of lightning activity.

A key component of the WX system is RGB Spectrum’s Linx 3400 video matrix switcher, which receives visuals from the WX monitoring/controlling workstations and video cameras and routes them to the COF displays, operator consoles and to recording devices, RGB Spectrum’s DGy codecs. These record the high speed video cameras for post-action review, forensic analysis, and archival storage.

The DGy codec’s JPEG 2000 compression produces visually lossless streaming and recording, preserving the most intricate detail. A key advantage is the codec’s ability to record every single frame. This capability is ideally suited for frame-by-frame review during post-recording analysis.

DGy codecs stream and record at up to 1920 x 1200 pixel resolution. The codecs offer a rich feature set, including external time code synchronization, random access, variable speed playback, frame-by-frame jog/shuttle, and the exclusive recording failsafe feature which automatically protects recordings in a catastrophic system failure. Event marks can be inserted at key instances both during the recording and replay processes. These event marks provide fast, convenient random access in the after-action-review to the desired marked points.

NASA Launch multi-monitors

The Kennedy Space Center’s Central Operations Facility deploys RGB Spectrum’s Linx 3400 video matrix switchers and DGy codecs to route, monitor, and record Weather Instrumentation Subsystem high-speed video and lightning sensor data for Launch Pad Complex 39B.

RGB Spectrum’s DGy codecs are the de facto standard for mission-critical applications, including simulation, training, missile testing, and C4ISR. Other high-profile installations include P-8 Poseidon trainers, simulators for the Triton/Global Hawk UAV, F-16 and F-22 aircraft, Apache, Kiowa, Chinook, and Blackhawk helicopters, and operational deployments on the U.S. Navy AEGIS destroyer fleet, the Canada Navy frigate fleet, and the THAAD and MEADS missile defense programs.

RGB Spectrum’s Linx multi-format video matrix switchers support any combination of HDMI, DVI, RGB and/or component signals, which can be single-link, dual-link, fiber, HDMI or HDBaseT. The Linx matrix switcher system’s modular input and output (I/O) cards accommodate a versatile range of signal types over a variety of transmission media, accommodating a mix of copper, fiber or twisted pair connections. It provides connectivity solutions for applications requiring signal distribution within rooms, and across buildings and campuses.

Linx’s Total EDID Manager optimizes output quality, even when an input signal is routed to multiple display devices with different resolutions. HDCP-compliant Linx switchers accommodate content-protected HDMI signals, including embedded audio pass-through, on all channels. HDCP-encoded signals can be routed to all displays simultaneously, regardless of source device key limitations. The switcher also has the unique ability to turn off the HDCP feature for non-protected content.

Linx switchers provide users with an unprecedented degree of flexibility. Building on RGB Spectrum's long tradition of quality and reliability, our digital DVI matrix switchers are ideal for 24/7 operation in applications that require the routing of multiple inputs with uncompromising speed and quality.