ESA In Cologne Benefits From MXA910 And ULX-D

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation of 22 member states dedicated to the exploration of space.

Among its historic achievements are the ongoing commitments to the International Space station and its team of European astronauts.

One of the ESA’s most important facilities - the European Astronaut Centre (EAC) - manages astronaut training programmes, space medicine programmes and future lunar exploration activities. Based in Cologne, the EAC also handles training for ground staff and other ESA employees, along with hosting official meetings and media events.

Since 2018, EAC has relied on a comprehensive microphone and in-ear monitoring solution based on Shure’s ULX-D® and PSM 1000 systems, as well as two Shure Microflex® Advance™ MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphones installed at its training facilities.

Client Needs

Planning and installation of the system was carried out by Troisdorf-based AV integrator DiMeKo, working to a client brief that specified training rooms required a freely configurable and aesthetically discreet microphone solution.

“The training programs are central to ESA’s mission, that’s why it’s crucial that everyone involved can understand one another perfectly,” explained Thomas Mayer, DiMeKo.

“Because training sessions are recorded, it was imperative that the new system be able to provide high audio quality and excellent speech intelligibility, regardless of where the speaker is standing.”

Ensuring the system was future-proof for public events and press conferences was a top priority, as the previously installed wireless and IEM system operated in the LTE band, which meant that stable and secure operation could no longer be guaranteed.

Solution

“With ULXD, EAC made a conscious decision to adopt a digital wireless microphone solution that ensures not only great reliability, but also secure transmission of sensitive data,” added Mayer.

Incorporating the network-capable ULXD4D dual wireless receivers and four ULXD2 hand-held microphones, the system also uses a wireless PSM1000 In-Ear Personal Monitoring System. Both systems are deployed during meetings and press conferences, as well as critical live broadcasts involving the ISS.

For the two training rooms, DiMeKo installed an MXA910 ceiling array supported by a QSC Q-SYS Core 110f signal processor, combined with a Shure ANI4OUT network interface.

Results

The wide diversity of deployment scenarios for the new systems mirrors the impressive range of advantages offered by the Shure systems for the ESA’s European Astronaut Centre in Cologne.

“Thanks to the ULXD and PSM 1000, the EAC now uses future-proof frequency bands while profiting from substantial improvements in audio quality, with the coverage of participants perfect in both rooms,” commented Mayer.

Recordings of sessions held in the training rooms featuring the ceiling-mounted MXA910 are now of a superior standard, with the addition of the array microphones allowing the rooms to also be used for AV conferencing purposes.

Gear List
Model Number Quantity Description
MXA910 + ANIUSB-MATRIX Microflex® Advance™ MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone and ANIUSB-MATRIX Audio Network Interface
MXA910 + P300-IMX Microflex® Advance™ MXA910 Ceiling Array Microphone and IntelliMix® P300-IMX Audio Conferencing Processor
MXA910 The new MXA910 with IntelliMix® represents the next evolution in the Microflex® Advance™ Ceiling Array Microphone platform.
ULX-D Digital wireless system offers a mix of 24-bit digital audio quality and scalability to meet the demands of installed applications.