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Future Spaceflights May Use JPEG 2000 Data

Verification of new specification includes interoperability tests between five vendors

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – NASA has taken a significant step in ensuring that the JPEG 2000 data over IP spec can be used in spaceflight operations.

In October, NASA verified the interoperability of TR-01, otherwise known as Technical Recommendation 01, which has been defined by the Video Services Forum (VSF) as a way to provide real-time streaming of a broadcast profile JPEG 2000 codestream wrapped in MPEG-2TS, with audio and ancillary data and encapsulated in IP. The VSF is an association composed of service providers, users and manufacturers focused on interoperability for video networking technologies.

VSF verified interoperability between five different vendors in relation to the TR-01 standard, including Ericsson, Evertz, Imagine Communications, Media Links and Nevion.

The verification was necessary in order to include TR-01 as an acceptable technology for use with multi-agency spaceflight operations, said Walt Lindblom, a video engineer with the NASA Imagery Experts Group. “We need to show more than one vendor implementation interoperating with each other,” he said. “This was successfully demonstrated during our test.”

Source material provided by NASA was encoded at 720p/59.94 Hz and tests were conducted at a wide range of bit rates. Multiple vendors were able to decode images at bit rates as low as 20 MBps.

“The verification of interoperability at this event is significant for several reasons,” said Brad Gilmer, executive director of the VSF. “Of course it was important that we proved to NASA that interoperability has been achieved. But perhaps more important is the speed with which this event came together – a little over a month from the first request from NASA to having five vendors together in a room demonstrating interoperability.”

NASA is a partner in the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), which includes all major space agencies. The Motion Imagery Applications working group within CCSDS has developed a standard for video applications and operations for joint spaceflight missions. The TR-01 is expected to be added as an accepted technology now that multivendor interoperability has been demonstrated, the agency said.