TRL11 Showcases Resilient Full Motion Video Capabilities on SpaceX Transporter-8

June 28, 2023
Irvine, CA

Milestone comes just months after pre-seed funding, hinting at TRL11’s future trajectory.

TRL11, a leading provider of video solutions for the space industry, has successfully validated several of its core technologies on a demonstration mission in Low Earth Orbit, despite the host spacecraft developing an anomaly shortly after deployment. All three products in TRL11’s demo mission operated nominally for the duration of Vast’s Orbiter SN03 mission, launched on SpaceX’s Transporter-8 flight on June 12, 2023.

TRL11’s primary system, called SAVER (Space Aware Video Edge-Compute Recorder), recorded 90 minutes of detailed full motion video from multiple camera angles, then used its edge processor to perform recursive, selective encoding for optimal data storage and resilient transmission. SAVER seeks to supplement traditional sensors and telemetry data and assist operators with unambiguous visual information about their mission, including that of unanticipated events, which are difficult to define and describe in fixed telemetry schemas.

“I know the clip is short, and hardly the first video from a spacecraft in orbit, but to do this from scratch within just a few months of our first fundraise is truly exhilarating,” says Nicolaas Verheem, the company’s Founder and CEO. “It also gives us a great platform to develop many more video applications from.”  

The ultimate goal is to provide the full set of video tools, including real-time AI/ML analysis and very low-latency streaming that can be used for space domain awareness, remote tele-operations in space (e.g. spacecraft inspection, on orbit assembly, and docking).  Streaming reliable video in space has long been a challenge for the industry where bandwidth is extremely limited - butTRL11's edge computing aims to overcome this historical barrier.

Although a tumbling host spacecraft shortened the mission and caused challenges with ground comms, significantly limiting the amount of video that could be downloaded, TRL11 successfully demonstrated much of the system, obtaining brief but high-quality footage. The first few seconds of video showed a serene space scene just beyond Earth's atmosphere, with another satellite clearly visible in the distance. This milestone reinforces their strategy to bring full motion video to every spacecraft, and inspires the team to further enhance SAVER’s resilience against the challenges inherent in all space missions.

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