UrtheCast (pronounced "EarthCast") is a company created around a unique vision: to provide the world's first ever, live HD video feed of Earth from space.
Working in an exclusive relationship with world-famous Russian Aerospace giant RSC Energia, UrtheCast is building, launching, installing, and operating two cameras on the Russian module of the International Space Station. Starting in mid-2012, video data of the Earth collected by our cameras will be down-linked to ground stations around the planet and then displayed in near real time on the UrtheCast web platform or distributed directly to our exclusive partners and customers.
UrtheCast is launching the world's first ever high definition, streaming video platform of planet Earth. The camera will be installed on the outside of the International Space Station through a joint effort with the Russian Space Agency. The camera will provide a 40 km wide, high resolution, color image down to as close as 1.1 metres.
Information for Developers: The UrtheCast web platform will be open source, allowing developers to create and implement applications based on the video data the camera collects.
How It Will Work
The International Space Station (ISS) is a low Earth human-inhabited satellite, by far the largest and most ambitious ever built. The station travels at 26,000 km per hour and orbits the Earth 16 times a day at an altitude of approximately 350 km. The ISS travels around the Earth in a wave pattern from approximately 52 degrees latitude north to 52 degrees south. It is a research facility that is a partnership between the Russian, European, Canadian, Japanese and US space agencies.
The UrtheCast web platform will allow Users to constantly track the location of the ISS, anticipating when it will pass over a particular geographic location of interest. The two Urthecast cameras, one medium resolution and one high resolution, will be built by the UK's world-famous Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL) and will be installed on the Russian module of the ISS.
The imagery collected by our cameras will be compressed, down-linked to various ground-based reception stations around the globe, and then transmitted to our operations center. Once there, the data stream will be uncompressed, streamed to servers around the planet, and then uploaded to the UrtheCast web platform where it can be viewed, downloaded and manipulated by Users around the world.
UrtheCast web platform Users will be able to search for videos of a particular location, type or theme. Like a personal video recorder, the web platform will allow Users the ability to interact with the HD video feed in real time as it is fed from our servers. Users will be able to zoom in and out, to "virtually" steer the camera from side to side, to rewind, and to fast forward as they check out areas and things of interest on the Earth.