Roswell, NM (October 18, 2012)—Riedel Communications supplied the Red Bull Stratos 120,000-foot skydive from the edge of space with the entire communications solution for the project, integrating both wireless and wired digital intercom systems.
Additionally, Riedel furnished the fiber-based video and signal distribution as well as the wireless video links from the capsule’s onboard cameras, enabling the pictures delivered from the Red Bull Stratos capsule.
Felix Baumgartner, sky diver, ascended to 24 miles (39 kilometers) in a stratospheric balloon and made a freefall jump, rushing toward earth at supersonic speeds before parachuting to the ground, breaking numerous world records with one jump: the highest skydive, the longest freefall, the first to reach supersonic speeds in freefall and the highest manned balloon ride.
For communication between Felix Baumgartner, all the team members at the launch site and mission control, Red Bull used a communications solution from Riedel Communications.
For the capsule that transported Baumgartner into the stratosphere, Riedel Communications provided the on-board video control system for nine HD video cameras with especially developed telemetry control. This system was responsible for the control of the video recording and also worked as a digital video router, not unlike a mini OB truck inside the capsule. It offered remote control of the whole video system and featured three HD video downlinks that were dynamically assigned to the selected cameras.
The communications infrastructure on-site in the included the entire compound, the mission control, the production offices, the media/press center and the OB truck. All these facilities and positions were integrated into one single communications infrastructure via a Riedel Artist Digital Matrix system. Artist is a fiber-based communications solution for broadcast audio that offers redundant ring topology.
Riedel also furnished the on-site digital radio network with more than 100 radio receivers and ten channels, which were integrated into the wired matrix intercom system, allowing radio users to directly talk to intercom users and vice versa.
All video signals on ground were distributed and routed with Riedel’s MediorNet technology. MediorNet is a fiber-based real-time network for HD video, audio, communications and data signals that also provides integrated signal processing. For the Red Bull Stratos project, 24 Riedel MediorNet nodes were installed in a redundant ring topology. In case of a potential connection loss between two nodes, the signals would have still been distributed due to the redundant topology.
The connection to the launchpad of the capsule was also realized with the MediorNet system, this time with two MediorNet Compact frames that were connected to the main system. All links in the MediorNet system were realized with Riedel PURE, a tactical fiber cable for mobile applications that is equipped with ruggedized Neutrik OpticalCON Quad connectors.
The MediorNet backbone transported all video signals of the Red Bull Stratos mission as well as all signals from the OB truck and from the tracking truck. It also distributed the broadcast audio between Mission Control and recording facility. Likewise, the data of the telemetry that was used for some broadcast applications such as the Moving Map was transported via MediorNet.
In addition to the video transport, MediorNet also serves as a network backbone for the on-site Internet connection providing the Ethernet connectivity in all areas of the compound.