The QM of ERB-2 at TSD premises during the integration phase
The FM of the ERB-2 during the system test phase
The FM of the ERB-2 at ESA-ESTEC in the Netherlands (courtesy of ESA)
The final configuration of the MEM mother board
The PCDM daughter board
The PCDM mother board during the integration phase
The astronaut Paolo Nespoli with ERB-2 camera on board the ISS

The Erasmus Recording Binocular 2 (ERB-2) is a digital stereoscopic camera allowing the simulation of human binocular vision. The ERB-2 has been proposed as a technology experiment to be flown on board the ISS able to capture and send to ground 3D films and related audio of the scenes seen by the camera itself.

TSD developed and tested the electronics and the Ground Segment of the ERB-2 in the frame of a contract with the European Space Agency (ESA). The Final Acceptance Review of the ERB-2 has been succesfully performed in December 2009. The ERB-2 has been launched on February 3rd 2010 from Baikonur (see the ESA portal link).

The ERB-2 Electronics has been based on the 2nd generation of the H2VMU. The challenge was to fulfil the different and very demanding performance requirements defined for the high definition digital stereo camera (high performances, compact and low power design, etc..).

The electronics is based on two modules, named Main Electronic Module (MEM) and Power Conditioning and Distribution Module (PCDM).  Each one of these boards has a daughter board (HD-SDI daughter board for the MEM and PCDM daughter board for the PCDM).

ERB-2 Main Specifications
Video input 2 x HD-SDI cameras working @ 720p resolution (1280 x 720 pixel)
Frame rate  up to 25 fps

1 x HSSL I/F for wavelet compressed video transfer to ISS EDR facility

1 x Ethernet I/F to ISS EDR facility for housekeeping telemetry and telecommands

1 x RS422 interface used for debugging purpose

Intuitive control MMI I/F based on 12 buttons

2 x VGA OLED displays for real time monitoring of the acquired video and off line playback (852 x 480 resolution) with status info indications

1 x headphone I/F (3.5 mm jack)

1 x external microphone I/F (3.5 mm jack)

Wavelet Compression at high-compression factor to transmit video and audio data to ground and low compression factor to store data in the local HD
Output  SpaceWire running up to 40 Mbps
Processing capabilities

Video pre-processing (possible application of region of interest, binning, video enhancement processes, etc.)

Auto iris and auto focus algorithms implementation and bidirectional communication with the motor servo actuators

Stereo camera overall control and communication management based on PowerPC H/W IP core processor running under LINUX with real-time multitasking operating system

Storage capabilities

Temporary storage of the Wavelet Compressed video (at high compression factor) on a 8[Gbit] volatile solid state mass memory, for off-line transmission to Ground

Non volatile storage of the high quality compressed video and audio on board magnetic mass memory device:
    PATA I/F (baseline)
    SATA I/F (future upgrade)

Audio capabilities

Audio record and playback

Internal microphone to capture audio during REC phase

Voltage 22 ÷ 34 [V]. Possibility to power the system by using:
    4 x BP930 Canon Batteries or in alternative
    +28V power outlet of the EDR
Safety issues
Compliant to the safety requirements of GPQ-010-PSA-101 and COL-RIBRE-SPE-0164
Mech. dimensions  186(H) x 270(W) x 398(L) [mm]
 Power consumption  1.3 A @ 28V in LIVE mode
Operating temperature 5 – 45 [°C]