Meet the companies behind broadcasting UAE’s Mars Hope Probe

Production and routing switchers, multi-viewers, signal processors and control software on board mobile truck used to deliver global feeds
Inside Media Mania's OB2 during the Hope Probe launch with For-A set up pictured, including For-A HVS-2000 switcher and MV-4200 multi-viewers.
Inside Media Mania's OB2 during the Hope Probe launch with For-A set up pictured, including For-A HVS-2000 switcher and MV-4200 multi-viewers.

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The UAE Mars Hope probe took off in July and is expected to land on the red planet in early 2021.

The launch event, which took place on July 19, was a widely publicised event with minute-by-minute video coverage keeping viewers gripped.

For-A has revealed its massive extent of involvement in capturing and broadcast of the launch event.

A host of For-A equipment was used to televise from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan on July.

Eager to communicate such a critical part of the UAE’s growing space sector, live video signals from the launch were sent to control rooms in Japan and the UAE.

Media Mania, a UAE-based company covered this event with its OB2 unit. Media Mania’s mobile trucks were equipped with video switchers, multi-viewers, routing switchers, and multi-purpose signal processors.

For-A’s Gear Link virtual control software and TALM tally manager system were used for production control of the large-scale Mars mission. Several multi-purpose signal processors on board the OB2 provided frame synchronisation of feeds delivered all over the world.

The probe successfully established two-way communication and is expected to reach Mars by February 2021. It marks the first time the UAE has orbited Mars, and the probe will stay in orbit for a Martian year - equivalent to 687 days on Earth - to gather data about Mars' atmosphere.

Roland Daou, Managing Director, Media Mania said: “This was a historic event, and we didn’t want to miss a detail or lose the signal at any point. We set out to capture this launch with the highest possible quality while staying out of the way of the engineers and mission crew, which was particularly challenging, given current distancing requirements. We needed to run and install a lot of cables and remote cameras in the UAE control room to keep our crew to a minimum. We knew this coverage had to be nothing less than perfect.”

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