New ISS Real-Time Tracker 4 adds streaming HD video of Earth from the High Definition Earth Viewing Experiment aboard the International Space Station
I’m really excited to share this news! It’s about my biggest update to ISS Real-Time Tracker yet!
I’ve added a great new feature to my internationally popular ISS Real-Time Tracker app. In addition to its other features, the app now lets you watch live HD video of Earth from the International Space Station. The video is streamed from the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment aboard the ISS (see Facts About the HDEV Experiment, below).
While viewing the live video, ISS Real-Time Tracker continues its tracking of the ISS in the background. This lets you go switch between the map view and the HDEV view, so you can see the area, which the video corresponds to on the map. A future update will provide iPad and iPad Pro users with a split screen to view both at the same time.
Here’s What ISS Real-Time Tracker Does:
- Tracks the current position of the ISS in real time on a moving map of Earth.
- Looks up the most recent NASA Landsat 8 image of Earth at the current ISS location (where available) and lets you save the images to your photo library.
- Checks for the amount of cloud cover in the Landsat 8 image and doesn’t display the image if it’s too high (this can be turned off in Settings).
- Streams live HD video of the Earth from the High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment on the ISS.
- Predicts the times when the ISS will pass over your current location, along with the duration of each pass.
- Select how many overhead pass predictions to compute (5/10/25/50/100).
- Tap any overhead pass to create an event in your calendar.
- Lists current ISS crew members with their stats.
- Click on any crew member to see their full bios.
- Selectable position marker.
- Info overlay boxes can be turned on/off in settings.
- Copy button, next to info box, allows you to copy Space Station’s current coordinates, altitude, velocity, and time stamp to your pasteboard and paste them in another app.
- All user settings and zoom slider position are automatically saved when app closes and are restored when it opens.
- Runs on iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro, and iPod touch in all orientations (requires iOS 9.3 and above).
- Supports iOS 9 multitasking.
Facts About the HDEV Experiment
(courtesy of NASA)
The High Definition Earth Viewing (HDEV) experiment places four commercially available HD cameras on the exterior of the space station and uses them to stream live video of Earth for viewing online. The cameras are enclosed in a temperature specific housing and are exposed to the harsh radiation of space. Analysis of the effect of space on the video quality over the time HDEV is operational may help engineers decide which cameras are the best types to use on future missions. High school students helped design some of the cameras’ components through the High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) program. And, student teams operate the experiment.