In striving for excellence, the Center searched for a digital broadcasting system. The challenge was finding a comprehensive solution that would fulfill NASA Dryden’s unique requirements of combining live test feeds with standard TV channels in a single system.
Furthermore, officers at the facility required a sophisticated display system for monitoring live flight tests. It is necessary to closely monitor multiple angles of the flight test simultaneously for early detection of faults that could be of a life threatening nature.
VITEC’s carrier-grade IPTV Media Gateway (MGW) H.264 encoding platform complemented by VITEC’s Interactive PC Player were the answer. VITEC’s IPTV solution included multiple MGW 1100 units located across the base, each capable of broadcasting both live camera feeds and TV channels on NASA’s existing IP network. The use of advanced H.264 encoding provides broadcast quality video at low bit rate, required to study the smallest details of the flight tests. The carrier-grade MGW platforms provide the reliability required by NASA Dryden’s mission critical environment, where broadcasting shutdowns are simply unacceptable. VITEC platforms incorporate sophisticated redundancy methods, thus ensuring reliable video streaming over the Center’s broadband network 24x7.
The video streams are delivered to each desktop via an easy-to-use PC client. In public areas, large TV monitors and IP set-top-boxes are used.
Officers in the NASA Dryden Center utilize VITEC’s DisplayManager application providing them interactive multi-channel access to all feeds. The application allows them to view up to four different channels simultaneously directly on their desktop. The channel selection can be changed dynamically at any time simply by selecting a new channel or zooming in on an existing onel. In addition, another requirement from NASA Dryden is that the new IPTV solution had to be cost effective and provide centralized management. “It was getting more and more expensive to maintain and upgrade the RF system,"said Will Spencer, information-technology specialist at Dryden Flight Research Center. VITEC’s MGW platforms are all managed by a central management system, Cluster Manager. The entire system is configured and monitored from a single, central location.