VANCOUVER, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW/ - UrtheCast is pleased to announce that
it has taken another giant leap towards launching the world's first HD
video platform of Earth from space, by entering into a contract with
MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA). As a preeminent
provider of electronic solutions, MDA will supply information solutions
in support of UrtheCast's video of Earth from the International Space
Station (ISS). Information solutions to be included in this agreement
include space data handling hardware (data compression units), which
will be integrated into UrtheCast's two high-definition video cameras.
As Scott Larson, President of UrtheCast, explains: "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. A project like this is obviously
quite involved and complex, and MDA is the right partner. We look
forward to working closely with them on a variety of fronts over the
duration of this project."
UrtheCast operates under a singular vision: to provide a high-resolution
video data platform for internet users, app developers, educators,
media outlets, government bodies, humanitarian relief organizations,
and environmental monitoring services. The two cameras — one medium and
one high-resolution — will be installed by astronauts on the ISS in
late 2012. Once mounted, the cameras will stream near-live video and
static imagery to Earth, and will provide extraordinary opportunities
to view Earth in high-definition.
"A large part of UrtheCast's vision involves education — a commitment to
providing a tool that will allow educators and students to interact
with and absorb information about Earth and space. Up until now, this
has been impossible: an interactive, ever-changing, near-to-real-time
view of our planet," says Scott.
Image data will be offered by means of a consumer-centric website
created by UrtheCast, a subsidiary of Earth Video Camera Inc. 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, thereby providing the opportunity for awareness
of current events across the globe. As another layer of interactivity,
users will be able to track the Space Station along its orbital path.
"This powerful platform will be housed in a social, interactive, and
open-sourced environment. We are increadibly excited to see what
developers and the public will accomplish with this amazing data
source," says Larson.
"We've got a wonderful opportunity here," explains Larson, "The
monitoring of Earth is becoming increasingly important to ensure its
protection, and that of its inhabitants. UrtheCast aims to change the
way we observe the globe, and MDA is the right company to help provide
this imagery to the world." explains Larson.
The UrtheCast cameras are scheduled for launch in late 2012, aboard the
Russian Soyuz Mission. The beta version of UrtheCast's interactive
platform will be made available this summer, 2012. To become a beta
subscriber, please visit urthecast.com.
UrtheCast (pronounced "EarthCast") is a company created around a unique
vision: to provide the world's first live HD video feed of Earth from
space. Working with world-class partners — and in an exclusive
relationship with renown Russian Aerospace giant RSC Energia —
UrtheCast is building, launching, installing, and operating two cameras
on the Russian module of the International Space Station. Video data of
Earth collected by the cameras will be down- linked to ground stations
around the planet and then displayed in near-realtime on the UrtheCast
web platform, or distributed directly to exclusive partners and
MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process
vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the
decision making and operational performance of business and government
organizations worldwide. Focused on markets and customers with strong
repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of information
solutions, ranging from complex operational systems, to tailored
information services, to electronic information products.
For further information:
Christian Darbyshire - tinePublic Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-419-9953
Follow us on Twitter @UrtheCast
Visit us on Facebook