Record-setting live Eagle flight uses Cobham NanoTX

Cobham’s SOLO7 HD Nano TX transmits live footage from Imperial Eagle flight in Dubai.

An ultra-miniature SOLO7 HD Nano TX from RF specialist Cobham Broadcast was recently used to transmit live video from the highest recorded release of a bird from a man-made structure, Dubai’s 829.8-meter (2,722-foot) Burj Khalifa tower. The event was sponsored by the Freedom Conservation organisation to raise awareness of eagle conservation.

“Darshan”, is a male Eastern Imperial Eagle with a two-metre wingspan. He was equipped with a 300 gram Sony ActionCam  and a Cobham SOLO7 HD Nano TX, which transmitted stunning live footage of the Eagle’s long descent from the top of Burj Khalifa to his Freedom Conservation trainer, Jacques-Olivier Travers.

Two falconers, accompanied by two support staff hanging from the spire at the very top of Burj Khalifa, set Darshan and his payload on his way on a beautiful March day and the results have been viewed on multi-platform news and feature programs around the world.

Roll the amazing video clip of Darshan’s live descent below. Click on the link that flashes in the clip to view a separate clip of Darshan's nosedive.

Darshans Flight

Cobham’s receive site antenna system stands beside the Burj Khalifa tower.

Cobham’s receive site antenna system stands beside the Burj Khalifa tower.

“We were in the region over the New Year, supporting our work with the Volvo Ocean Race, when we were approached about devising a way to use our technology to transmit live from an eagle. While sailing and soaring are separate circumstances, each with their respective challenges, it was a unique opportunity not to be missed,” said Cobham Head of Broadcast Sales, JP Delport. 

“Our first and foremost reaction to being approached about Darshan’s flight was to ensure the safety and well-being of such a magnificent and endangered bird of prey, the conservation of which we wholeheartedly support. Secondly, guaranteeing live video transmission in an application that had never been tried before was, at first, a daunting prospect. However during January and February 2015, SNG Broadcast Services FZLLC Managing Director, Ken Suckling, who was consulting for H.H. The Crown Prince of Dubai Offices helped to design the transmission system arrangement that would complement the bespoke antenna and harness devised by Project Leader Mohammed Omar Al Muhairi from the Crown Prince Offices and Dr. Michael Gnoth, G.M .of Optimal Connectivity LLC. This had to fit Darshan, and complement the overall live video transmission system.We’re very proud to say that our SOLO7 HD Nano TX was a key component of that system and, with Darshan and the Freedom Conservation organisation, delivered a performance of the highest order.”

Cobham’s ultra-miniature SOLO7 HD Nano TX is the world’s smallest wireless HD transmitter. As the video clip demonstrates, it provides excellent image quality retention over wireless links, with almost limitless scope for new and unusual applications.

Cobham will exhibit at NAB 2015 in booth C7412.

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