Fiber-based networking in a ring
Once the video signals reached the ground, they were immediately routed with the company’s MediorNet fiber-based network technology. Two dozen nodes were installed in a redundant ring topology across the compound to ensure reliability. In case of a potential connection loss between two nodes, the signals would have still been distributed due to the redundant topology. There could be no second chances to get it right.
The two-way connection to the launchpad of the capsule was also accomplished with the system, with two MediorNet Compact frames connected to the main system. All links in the system were tied together with the company’s PURE cable, a tactical fiber cable for demanding mobile applications that is equipped with professional-duty Neutrik opticalCON QUAD connectors.
The MediorNet backbone transported all video signals of the Red Bull Stratos mission, as well as all signals from the production truck and from two FlightLine optical tracking trucks used to monitor the in-flight capsule. Riedel networking technology was also used to distribute intercom panels and IP-based broadcast audio signals between mission control and an off-site recording facility, and for the transfer of telemetry data featured on several broadcast applications, such as a moving map that documented Baumgartner’s fall and his speed and oxygen levels.
In addition to the video transport, the MediorNet technology also served as a network backbone for the on-site intercom installation and the Internet connection, providing Ethernet connectivity to all areas of the ground-based compound.
The live feed of the Roswell, NM, jump, reportedly drawing a record 8 million concurrent streams on YouTube and airing on more than 80 TV outlets in 50 countries, was produced by Red Bull Media House. Once Baumgartner landed safely on the ground, after reaching a peak speed of 833.9mph (or 1.24 times the speed of sound), the technical feat — switching so many different devices and brands from different manufacturers through a single system — was said to be equally rewarding.
—Michael Grotticelli covers the professional video and broadcast technology industry.