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April 22, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:19pm


By CBR Staff Writer

The US and Japanese governments and several corporations are uniting to test the transmission of high definition video, HDV, computer data, high resolution images and video signals across the Pacific Ocean. Using a combination of satellite links and fiber optic cable, the tests will evaluate the role of satellite technology in the Global Information Infrastructure, GII (CI No 2,624) as defined by the G7 summit in March 1995. The experiments will be carried out through the Japan-US Science Technology and Space Applications Program, JUSTSAP – key sponsors are NASA and Japan’s Communications Research Laboratory – in order to develop techniques, standards and protocols for transmitting high data rate images and scientific data via satellite. Until now, such data has only been transmitted by fibre optic cable. Ultimately, the aim is to establish a satellite-based broadband Asynchronous Transfer Mode link between the two countries, according to Edison Hsu, High Definition Video experiment co-ordinator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Highband satellite links

JUSTSAP hopes to eventually achieve highband links from satellites comparable to those provided by fiber optic cable for areas such as over oceans, rainforests and deserts. The first experiment, now in progress, is testing the ability of satellites to carry the video signals from the Sony Research Laboratory in Tokyo – via Hawaii – to the Sony High Definition Pictures Center in Culver City, California, for potential applications such as transcontinental editing of movies and television programs shot on HDV, and transmitting HDV features directly to movie theaters. The objective is also to be able to send and receive images across the link in real time, with the minimum of compression as well as master tapes in less than real time and without compression. Other potential applications include astronomy, telemedicine, tele-education, digital libraries and electronic commerce. Other organizations involved in the tests are Sony Corp, Comsat World Systems, George Washington University, GTE Hawaiian Tel Earth Station and the State of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Intelsat, Japanese phone carriers Kokusai Denshin Denwa Co Ltd and Nippon Telephone and Telegraph Corp, Mitsubishi Electric Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp, Pacific Bell Corp and the Pacific Space Center.

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