Lousy radios on space shuttle?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Ken Chan, Aug 9, 2005.

  1. Ken Chan

    Ken Chan Producer

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    With all the recent coverage, it got me wondering: why is the sound quality when the astronauts are being interviewed so bad?
     
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    They're a long way away. [​IMG] Lots of things affect the sound quality of broadcasts from space - sun spots, radiation, the not quite-terrestrial atmosphere they're breathing, even the lack of gravity can change the way people sound.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  3. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    Plus, the space shuttle is a government operation so the radios were supplied by the lowest bidder. [​IMG]
     
  4. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    ~240 miles above the earth. If the earth was a basketball, the shuttle would be 1/4" above the surface. Considering the breathtaking HD and surround audio that beams down from satellites 22,300 miles high....

    I personally think it's a conspiracy. They beam down crappy audio/video to the civilian population, and save the good stuf for IMAX when they can make $$$$ [​IMG]
     
  5. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    Voice commo from the current STS is roughly telephone quality, which is only fair when you consider that it's probably being multiplexed into a telemetry channel. They have regular VHF aircraft radios on board, but I rather doubt those have the necessary range, even if the antennas were in the correct plane.
     
  6. Jeff Loughridge

    Jeff Loughridge Stunt Coordinator

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    I wondered the same thing, as I watched one interview on the last mission. Somehow they can get full motion color video, which requires about 6 mHz bandwidth, but the audio is only 3 kHz telco quality.
     
  7. Nathan*W

    Nathan*W Screenwriter

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    Probably because they're using the same audio technology from the past 40 years, whilst the video technology is relatively newer.


    Maybe?



    Alright, ya got me. I don't have a friggin' clue why...[​IMG]
     
  8. Lynda-Marie

    Lynda-Marie Supporting Actor

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    Obviously, they need to hire hard core HTF sound fanatics to get the audio right! [​IMG]
     
  9. Marko Berg

    Marko Berg Supporting Actor

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    I can see it now: Engineers and technicians going through Digital Video Essentials and relaying calibration data to the astronauts on board the space shuttle who are holding a SPL meter and making adjustments.

    "Houston, we have a problem... still no sound from the centre channel..."
     
  10. Chris Lockwood

    Chris Lockwood Producer

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    > If the earth was a basketball, the shuttle would be 1/4" above the surface.

    And the astronauts would be really tiny.
     
  11. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    I imagine that it sounds the way it does because it's as good as it needs to be. In the world of engineering, there's no such notion as "more than adequate." Adequacy is a binary state.
     
  12. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Did someone say, "Good enough for government work"?

    Hey, pieces of the damned thing are still falling off at launch after two years of intensive effort to fix the system. Who has time to work on the phones? [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  13. BrettB

    BrettB Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  14. Bryan X

    Bryan X Producer

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    The answer is very simple really. In the vacuum of space, there are rogue silica atoms that are constantly bombarding the space shuttle. Silica, famous for absorbing water (and some claim salsa) also has another little known quirk.

    Audio and Radio signals travel in waves, and as everyone knows, so does water. Silica can't distinguish between the different types of waves and hence absorbs the audio and radio signals it happens to come in contact with, distorting the sound.

    A friend of mine tested the 'wave theory'... once. I placed a Silica packet on the table in front of him. He waved at it... God rest his soul.
     
  15. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    [Waves at Bryan]

    Gaaaaaaaaaaaah... Silica!
     

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