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Multi-Bit-Rate Switcher Is Part of High-Definition Upgrade at NASA

HANABI HVS-3800HS Multi-Bit Rate Switcher
FOR-A
Waltham, MA
714-867-3311
www.for-a.com

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD, manages the Hubble Space Telescope that has, since its launch in 1990, recorded more than 700,000 images in its quest to explore the solar system. Recently, NASA announced plans for a fifth servicing mission to the Hubble in which the FOR-A HANABI switcher was used in a live press conference to produce and record the news in high-definition (HD). The images were then converted for distribution to the public via NASA-TV. “Given that the Hubble is so important, we wanted to be able to announce this in HD for historical purposes,” said Patrick Kennedy, GSFC’s TV production manager.

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The control room at NASA Goddard Space FlightCenter.
The HVS-3800HS is a multi-bit-rate combination of FOR-A’s HANABI HVS-3000S standard definition and HVS-3000HS high-definition two-M/E switchers. It features a polygon-based HD DVE and supports standard and high-definition formats. It can configure five main units or control panels, enabling users to set up productions from multiple locations. It has 16 standard inputs and 16 standard outputs.

It is installed in a control room, and all adjacent press centers and auditoriums are interconnected through GSFC’s existing fiber-optic network. Kennedy believes the switcher “saves us tremendously in size in both the control panel and the rack panel.” GSFC plans to hold additional press conferences using the system.

Future plans were important to Kennedy when choosing the switcher, since GSFC needed equipment that could adapt to working with virtual studios if they were implemented. Virtual studios will become important as GSFC continues its work with scientific visualization and data-driven pictures that help scientists understand weather phenomenon, sea surface temperatures, and hurricane tracks. “It allows us to one day have a scientist take that data that’s been given a visual form and interact with it to better educate the public,” Kennedy said.

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