RossGear In Space
Lockheed Martin conducted an extensive search to find an extremely high quality NTSC to SDI decoder that would be lightweight and offer exceptional reliability.
When John Ross, founder and former President of Ross Video, became aware of Lockheed’s needs, He immediately offered them a decoder for their evaluation. On testing the Ross decoder, Lockheed was very pleased to have finally found the high level of video performance that they needed, along with a company that would listen to them and was willing to adapt the product to meet the environmental needs of Space.
John became so enthused with the resulting close relationship with Lockheed that he decided to take on the engineering design as a personal project. “The folks at Lockheed were just great in educating us about their needs and potential space-related problems” John said. “Together, we were able to solve all issues that arose. They were wonderful to work with”. Key parts of the contract were Ross Video’s ability to take existing RossGear technology and modify it to operate on the voltages available in the Space Station and into a VME-style card format that would then be encased in a radiation-proof shell.
The resulting design easily passed all of Lockheed’s certification testing, while retaining the same exceptional video decoding performance of the original Ross commercial product. Lockheed was so pleased with the results that not only is this equipment now used in the Japanese Experiment Module but they bought many more for use on the ground in various installations such as the Kennedy Space Centre.
John Ross has been quoted as saying, “We are all extremely proud that our products will be used on the International Space Station. It’s indeed a great honor.”
The module launched May 31, 2008 on mission STS-124.
Credit: STS-131 Crew, Expedition 23 Crew, NASA
About the Japanese Experiment Module
In order to efficiently conduct space experiments in Kibo and to foster utilization of Kibo by researchers in various research fields, the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) is now developing various experiment equipment. This experiment together with equipment that generally supports experiments in Kibo’s Pressurized Module are collectively called the “Multiuser Experiment Facility”. It is being developed to satisfy various needs of researchers so that it can be used to conduct a variety of experiments. Five experiment racks containing Japanese equipment, a Freezer Refrigerator rack to store experiment samples and medicine, and stowage racks to store experiment samples and equipment are available in Kibo’s Pressurized Module.
Kibo Exposed Facility Payloads (Exposed Facility)
“Exposed Facility Payloads” refers to payloads with dimensions of 1.85m x 0.8m x 1.0m and weighing up to 500 kg that are attached to Kibo’s Exposed Facility. These payloads support experiments utilizing the exposed space environment in the Exposed Facility. Exposed Facility Payloads will be transported by the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) or the Space Shuttle, and will be attached to Kibo’s Exposed Facility. Kibo can accommodate up to ten Exposed Facility Payloads at the same time. When Kibo begins operating, a robot arm will be used to exchange Exposed Facility Payloads, thus enabling a large number of experiments to be conducted. Other International Space Station facilities such as those of Europe and the US, also provide an exposed experiment environment. However, Kibo’s Exposed Facility will have the largest electrical power and communications supply capacity. NASDA is currently developing four Exposed Facility Payloads to take advantage of the Exposed Facility’s unique characteristics.