UrtheCast Unveils its First Ultra HD Videos from ISS

UrtheCast Unveils its First Ultra HD Videos from ISS

Did you ever think that a camera installed in Space could help you track the entire movement of your car or of a boat as it sailed down the Thames in London? With its first Ultra HD videos, the Canada-based company, UrtheCast, has made this possible.

On Wednesday, the company uploaded its first full-color HD videos of the Earth from the International Space Station. This was a 4K Ultra HD video made available on its ReelNASA YouTube channel. The company uses the Iris high-definition camera and Theia medium-resolution camera, which were mounted atop the space station in 2013 by Russian spacewalkers. Iris was positioned on a bi-axial pointing platform, from where it is capable of following the complete movement of the target on Earth at a speed of 17,000 mph.

Iris has the capacity of capturing an area of about 6 square miles in full-color video for 60 seconds. The clips that were made available on Wednesday were just a teaser, said Scott Larson, the CEO and co-founder of UrtheCast. He said that viewers could be in for a treat in July, once Iris achieved 'initial operation capability'. Post that, users would be able to dial up HD video clips of specified locations on a full-fledged web-based platform.

However, the images relayed by UrtheCast's cameras are of 1-meter resolution, which are not as good as the 30-centimeter imagery from DigitalGlobe's WorldView 3 satellite. Nevertheless, when considering videos and not still pictures, UrtheCast scores much better.

The company intends to make money selling Ultra HD video from space to willing customers. It also claimed that its satellite imagery could be useful for monitoring crop growth, environmental hazards, oil and gas fields, disaster zones and international hot spots.

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