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Remotely-Controlled Earth-Exploring Camera System to be Installed in International Space Station

ISERV, a remote-controlled Earth-exploring camera system, will be deployed in the Window Observational Research Facility (WORF) in the International Space Station aboard the third H-II Transfer Vehicle of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency this week.

After installation, the camera system will be guided by scientists on the ground to capture images of particular areas of the world for environmental studies and disaster analysis. ISERV Pathfinder is an advanced imaging tool designed and developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center situated in Huntsville, Alabama.

ISERV represents the International Space Station SERVIR Environmental Research and Visualization System. The space station offers unique insights to researchers by observing Earth from space. Environmental decision makers in developing nations obtain satellite tools and data through this program, also dubbed as the Regional Visualization and Monitoring System. SERVIR is a collaboration between the U.S. Agency for International Development and NASA.

The ISERV system is designed to facilitate researchers acquire operational expertise and demonstrate the design of a future operational system capable of observing calamities on Earth. The system is on the basis of a custom-made commercial telescope and directed by customized software. It will utilize the Earth-facing Destiny science window to acquire Earth surface images, which will be then sent to researchers on the ground.

ISERV is the first of an envisaged line of space station Earth-exploring instruments, each will comprise progressively more advanced sensors. Future sensors may be installed on the outer surface of the station to obtain a better view of Earth. The collaboration between Science Mission Directorate's Earth Science Division Applied Sciences Program and NASA's Human Exploration and Operations Directorate funded ISERV development.

The crew at the Payload Operations Center at Marshall is making computer-based materials to train the space station team to assemble and deploy ISERV in the WORF rack. Normal operations aboard station are slated to commence in November.

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G.P. Thomas

Written by

G.P. Thomas

Gary graduated from the University of Manchester with a first-class honours degree in Geochemistry and a Masters in Earth Sciences. After working in the Australian mining industry, Gary decided to hang up his geology boots and turn his hand to writing. When he isn't developing topical and informative content, Gary can usually be found playing his beloved guitar, or watching Aston Villa FC snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

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