The competition heats up: UrthaCast has announced the status of the commissioning of its commercial cameras on ISS for viewing the Earth.
The medium resolution camera has been commissioned and is available for commercial imaging. The high resolution camera, however, has a problem with its pointing system which is requiring troubleshooting.
The Bi-axial Pointing Platform (“BPP”), which controls the pointing of the [High Resolution camera (HRC)], is experiencing difficulties in achieving the pointing control precision needed for the HRC to meet image quality specifications. Our engineering team together with RSC Energia believes it has developed a solution to this problem using existing gyroscopes on the HRC to improve the BPP pointing control. This solution has been successfully tested on the ground. The on-orbit implementation of this solution requires software updates and the installation of additional cabling inside the Zvezda module. These new cables need to be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). As a result, there will be a several month delay in commissioning the HRC.