Epiphan takes Pro AV to space aboard the International Space Station

October 13, 2016 (updated from June 22, 2015 and December 17, 2014)

PK4 aboard the International Space Station

During the first week of June 2015, Epiphan’s KVM2USB was used for the Plasma Kristall-4 commission experiment. This photo shows space station crew supporting the science team on ground conducting experiments; the particle cloud can be seen on the laptop to the left. Image: ESA/NASA

Palo Alto, CA. October 13, 2016 (updated from June 22, 2015 and Dec 17, 2014) – Epiphan Video’s KVM2USB, a portable KVM over USB device originally developed for Pro AV and IT applications, is successfully being used aboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Plasma Kristall-4 (PK-4) research mission.

PK-4 is a scientific laboratory aboard the ISS run by the ESA as part of their human spaceflight research experiments. Its objectives are to study transport properties, thermodynamics, kinetics, and statistical physics of complex plasmas. During operation, scientists on Earth select parameters (pressure, gas flow, plasma voltage, etc.) and initialize the experiment. The resulting particle cloud must be captured by a camera aboard the ISS. Time delays involved in sending and receiving live signals from the ISS make it very difficult for ground-command to accurately capture images of the cloud, so it was necessary to find a way to have the on-orbit crew member perform this task.

Epiphan’s KVM2USB allows the on-orbit crew visualize the live VGA video stream aboard, see the particle cloud and interact with it. The KVM2USB also offers the ability to do support and maintenance on the recording computer system by emulating a keyboard, mouse, and monitor on a laptop computer.

KVM2USB aboard the International Space Station for the third PK-4 research experiment.

Commander Anatoli Ivanishin installing Epiphan’s portable KVM device, KVM2USB, aboard the ISS for the third PK-4 research mission from Oct. 10–13. Image: ESA/NASA

The KVM2USB was transported to the ISS aboard the Progress 57P rocket on October 29, 2014 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan. In order to accept the KVM2USB into the payload, the KVM2USB underwent stringent testing for a multitude of factors including reliability, power consumption and temperature. The off-the-shelf retail KVM2USB passed these tests with excellence and was successfully used for PK-4 system activation in orbit on December 8, 2014.

In addition to the June 15, 2015 Plasma Kristall-4 commission experiment, the KVM2USB was again put to extensive use on the third PK-4 mission from October 10–13, 2016. In this campaign, ISS Commander Anatoli Ivanishin used the KVM2USB to help capture large quantities of particle clouds for study by the on-ground scientific community.

Epiphan Video continues to work closely with organizations such as NASA and ESA by providing equipment with unrivaled reliability and a proven record of accomplishment both on earth and in space.


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Epiphan Video produces world-class, award-winning audio visual solutions to capture, scale, mix, encode, stream, record and play high resolution video including 4K UHD. Our customers include companies that specialize in live event production, education, healthcare, worship, manufacturing, usability, collaboration, security and transportation.

Epiphan’s field-proven product line includes live video production and video streaming systems, external USB-based video grabbers for capturing video and graphics from DVI, HDMI™, SDI and VGA sources and internal video capture cards. Our products are designed in North America and backed by rock-solid technical support.

Epiphan Video is a trade name of Epiphan Systems Inc., a privately owned company incorporated in 2003. Epiphan is based in Palo Alto, California, USA and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with regional offices and a network of authorized channel partners and OEMs throughout the world. For more information, please visit www.epiphan.com.