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QuVIS Servers To Pluto and Beyond

Another successful NASA launch proves success of imaging system (February 07, 2006)

Almost a year after the delivery of recorders to NASA for the Space Shuttle “Return to Flight” program, QuVIS' servers have been tasked for additional duties recording the launch of the “New Horizons” mission to Pluto. This is one of the highest profile, unmanned missions that the QuVIS servers have been used to record.

The first mission to distant planet Pluto was under way after the successful launch on January 19 of NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. New Horizons roared into the afternoon sky aboard a powerful Atlas V rocket at 2 p.m. EST. The 1,054-pound, piano-sized spacecraft is the fastest ever launched, speeding away from Earth at approximately 36,000 miles per hour, on a trajectory that will take it more than 3 billion miles toward its primary science target. New Horizons will zip past Jupiter for a gravity assist and science studies in February 2007, and conduct the first close-up, in-depth study of Pluto and its moons in summer 2015. As part of a potential extended mission, the spacecraft would then examine one or more additional objects in the Kuiper Belt, the region of ancient, icy, rocky bodies (including Pluto) far beyond Neptune’s orbit.

QuVIS servers were chosen initially for NASA’s upgrade of the "quick look" and tracker applications. The selection came as a result of NASA's decision to upgrade the quality and transportability of imagery available for detection and assessment of any launch anomalies related to the space shuttle program. The servers were deployed at several NASA facilities including: Goddard Space Flight Center, Maryland; Marshall Space Center, Alabama; Kennedy Space Center, Florida and Johnson Space Center, Texas. These units are now being used to track and analyze launches of additional NASA vehicles.

QuVIS servers are also installed in two WB-57 jets based at the Johnson Space Center, an in-flight recording system that is part of the WAVE (WB-57 Ascent Video Experiment) Program. Customized for NASA, these units utilize solid-state hard drives that withstand the rigors of flight. During a shuttle launch, the WB-57 aircraft will fly at altitudes of 60,000 to 80,000 feet while using HD cameras to capture imagery directly to the servers. The units are intended to record the launch for subsequent image analysis and a new purpose of onsite immediate availability of high-quality ink-jet 8x10 prints on- site for documentation and analysis. This process gives a visible proof of the immediate availability of imagery from QuVIS’ servers.

In a similar land-based version of this project, servers and high definition cameras were installed to shoot video of NASA spacecraft, including the space shuttle before, during and after the launches. Special enclosures on the launch pad hold HD cameras and are connected to QuVIS servers capturing images of the shuttle during takeoff. Additional tracking cameras located downrange from the launch are linked to QuVIS servers to capture images of the vehicles in flight. The data from these servers is then electronically transferred from the field directly to image analysis centers in Alabama, Florida and Texas.

Using secure electronic transfer reduces the time necessary to provide this "quick look" imagery from the air and land based servers to the image analysis labs. The QuVIS solution provided image quality comparable to uncompressed solutions in bandwidth that facilitates rapid transmission across the NASA private network. The old solution was to edit video tapes that would be transmitted via satellite at approximately 5 hours after launch; today they are able to have all of this data available at all 3 sites (FL, TX, MI) shortly after it arrives at the LCC, (once the data is transferred into a server it is then mirrored out to the 3 locations).

"We're pleased about the continued success of working with NASA," said Kenbe Goertzen, CEO of QuVIS, Inc., “This is only the first of many applications for our technology within the space program.”

The conversion of technology from NASA's previous film and standard definition video formats to high definition video formats came about following the loss of the Columbia space shuttle and crew on February 1, 2003. NASA responded to the tragedy by performing a safety evaluation of the entire space shuttle program including the image analysis and video technology used to evaluate space flight. It was determined the inadequate quality of available video and film footage effected decisions made regarding evaluating damage to the space shuttle. To respond to NASA 's need for higher quality imagery, QuVIS relied on its experience developing video products for the Hollywood production and post-production communities. This expertise allowed QuVIS systems engineers to provide a system that can produce extremely high-resolution imagery from digital cameras in use by NASA.

About QuVIS, Inc
QuVIS Inc., is the leading provider of hi fidelity high-resolution motion imaging technology. The QuVIS line of servers, recorders and players provide guaranteed image quality using Quality Priority Encoding, (QPE™). QuVIS also offers optional JPEG2000, MXF, secure encryption and key management for a complete end-to-end digital cinema solution. QuVIS offers servers for real-time mastering and recording of content for SD through 4K for production, post production, digital dailies, digital cinema exhibition, simulation and large screen displays. The ASIC version of QPE, embodied in the QuVIS Digital Mastering Codec (QDMC™), offers new capabilities for the image storage, analysis and communication industries and is available for OEM and licensing applications.

For information contact QuVIS, Inc., 2921 Wanamaker Drive, Suite 107, Topeka, KS 66614, (785) 272-3656, or visit


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