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The Space Shuttle initially will be using a field-sequential color television system but it is possible that an NTSC color TV system may be used for future missions. In addition to downlink color TV transmission via analog FM links, the Shuttle will use a high resolution slow-scan monochrome system for uplink transmission of text and graphics information. This paper discusses the characteristics of the Shuttle video systems, and evaluates digitization and/or bandwidth compression techniques for the various links. The more attractive techniques for the downlink video are based on a two-dimensional DPCM encoder that utilizes temporal and spectral as well as the spatial correlation of the color TV imagery. An appropriate technique for distortion-free coding of the uplink system utilizes two-dimensional HCK codes.
Date of Publication: November 1978