Command and Control in the Rakia Space Mission Operations Control Center

07:33 21 July in Blog

The Background Story

There are an impressive number of advancements taking place in human spaceflight endeavors. While the number of astronauts shuttling out of space will grow in the coming years, the significance lies in the feats they will accomplish.

Discussions and plans involving private space flights and the transportation of scientific and researchers to outer space are already underway. For plans to progress beyond discussion and planning, skilled astronauts need to test the viability of alternative food sources, air purification methods, and living conditions, as part of ongoing experiments.

The Ramon Foundation, considered one of Israel’s leading NGOs, is heading the historic Rakia (Heaven in Hebrew) Space Mission (the first commercial space flight to the International Space Station by Axiom Space) with Eytan Stibbe at the helm. The astronaut and his team launched on April 8, 2022, from the Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 39A.

Israel is known for its accomplished and strong space program, with about 60 startups developing space products. This is just the beginning of an exciting future for a country that isn’t partnered with the International Space Station (ISS). The setting up of commercial space platforms allows Israeli businesses to be a part of big changes and new ideas.

The Experiments

When the Rakia Space Mission invited Israeli companies to send experiments to the ISS, the response was overwhelming, and over 1500 research foundations and startups came forward. Undoubtedly, through the Rakia Space Mission, Israel seems set on being part of the revolution in space research and development.

Eytan Stibbe carried out 35 experiments for Israeli companies and research institutions through the ISS.

The Control Room requirements

The Rakia Space Mission needed a control and operations center to oversee multiple video feeds/inputs/streams on a 4×2 video wall. The requirement was to have the main control system seamlessly switch between different layouts and scenes.

In the control room, six operators work the computers. At any given time, the manager in the room would want to have the screen of any of the operators shared on the video wall’s screens through a video feed. Each scene had to include multiple feeds, which would allow the manager and the operators to simultaneously view and keep track of critical information.

Rakia_mission_control center video wall

The team was looking for an easy-to-use solution to undertake all of the above without necessitating a complex setup. Time was a major factor, as they had to install and launch all operations within a month.

The most important aspect was initializing a solid system that could do what it promised around the clock. Since the space mission’s control center needed to be fully operational at all times, it was an imperative requirement.

MAWi Spacewall in a space mission control room

Monitor AnyWhere’s MAWi system ticked all the boxes, meeting the space station’s stringent expectations. Through an intuitive, responsive, and fuss-free platform, we were able to support their endeavors seamlessly.

We installed eight MAWi players (AV over IP devices) behind the video wall’s screens. On the main computer, we installed the MAWi software, designed to communicate with the players over the LAN, pushing different scenes with different layouts. The operators’ PCs were captured and streamed over the network, making each stream available for MAWi.

Through this partnership, we were quickly able to set up the video wall and support the everyday operations of the Rakia Space Mission. Today, the space station can effortlessly communicate with Eitan Stibbe from the ground.

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