NEP’s Solution for Aurora, North One and Extreme E Tests Its Metal In Some of the World’s Harshest Conditions
Lastweekend marked the first event for Extreme E, a new all-electric off-roadracing series designed to highlight the climate crisis. NEP Group, the leading technical partner for content producers around the globe, worked with Extreme E and hostbroadcaster Aurora Media Worldwide and North One, to create a cutting-edge,sustainable broadcast solution that brought the first race, in AlUla, SaudiArabia, into homes in 180 countries around the globe.
Designed to mirror ExtremeE’s goals of marrying the latest technology with sustainability and buildingsolutions to meet the rigors of the world’s harshest conditions, NEP’s innovativebroadcast services will be used by Aurora and North One at races in Senegal,Greenland, Brazil and Patagonia as the series continues. NEP’s complete end-to-end broadcastpackage includes a custom IP flypack, remote production solutions, crewing,satellite and fibre connectivity, edit, ingest, Augmented Reality (AR),Graphics, and specialty cameras.
“Extreme E is a truly world-class eventthat is highlighting one of the most important challenges facing our planet andbringing it to a new audience in a really innovative way. It has been a thrillto see the solution that NEP, Aurora, North One and Extreme E have created cometo life,” says BrianClark, Director of Sales for NEP Major Events. “What we have created isnot only at the very cutting edge of technology, but it also delivers from someof the world’s harshest environments – all during COVID. There were certainly alot of challenges to overcome, but the result is just fantastic.”
Lawrence Duffy, Managing Director,Aurora Media Worldwide says, “It was so rewarding to see all of the team’shard work, dedication and ingenuity come to life this past weekend. It was sucha tremendous partnership between all of us – Extreme E, Aurora, North One andNEP – and it has really paid off. Thisis exactly what we wanted to achieve: a great marriage of sustainability andcutting-edge technology all coming together to create a really excitingproduction. We can’t wait for the nextrace.”
Considering the sustainability goals,COVID restrictions, and challenging remote race locations, reducing the numberof staff traveling to site was critical in NEP’s system design. Utilizing aspecialty IP flypack, NEP, Aurora and North One were able to connect each racelocation directly to their new “UHD ready” centralized production facility inLondon, via satellite. With over 30 different sources available in London, mostof the production team is able to handle record, replay, edit, audio mixing,vision mixing and playout without having to travel to location. Additionally,specialty Augmented Reality (AR) and Graphics are handled real time by NEP’s AR/ GFX team at their production hub in Hilversum, again reducing the need fortravel.
NEP’s team in The Netherlands developedseveral cutting-edge AR and graphics solutions for the broadcast productionprovided by Aurora and North One. Combining advanced drone and AR technologies,NEP worked with Extreme E, Aurora and North One to develop a solution for livemapping and overlays of the course that link back to Hilversum and then are madeavailable to the production team in London, producing amazing results and providingviewers with a completely unique experience. They also leverage these AR anddrone technologies in tandem with cutting-edge RF solutions to limit cable runswhile still providing maximum and reliable coverage from the cars. This helpsavoid use of fixed-wing or helicopter solutions, which have a far higherenvironmental impact.
About Aurora Media Worldwide
Established in 2012, Aurora Media Worldwide is a multiaward-winning, fully integrated content agency, developing, producing, anddistributing original content and programming for international rights holders,broadcasters, and brands. Headquartered in London, Aurora Media Worldwide’sclients include Formula E, Extreme E, Goodwood, Six Day Cycling, Jaguar andPorsche, with output across the world’s major broadcasters including ITV, Sky,Eurosport, FOX, Supersport, Globo, ProSiebenSat.1.
Extreme E is a radical new racing series, which will see electric SUVscompeting in extreme environments around the world which have already beendamaged or affected by climate and environmental issues. The five-race globalvoyage highlights the impact of climate change and human interference in some ofthe world’s most remote locations and promotes the adoption of electricvehicles in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.
To minimise local impact, Extreme E races will not be open tospectators, with fans instead invited to follow the action through live TVbroadcast, and on social media.
The St. Helena, a former passenger cargo ship, has undergone amulti-million Euro refit to minimise emissions and transform her into ExtremeE’s operations hub. The ship will be used to transport the championship’sfreight and infrastructure, including vehicles, to the nearest port, minimisingExtreme E’s footprint, as well as being used to facilitate scientific researchthrough its on-board laboratory.
Extreme E is also pioneering hydrogen fuel cell technology which will enableits race fleet to be charged using zero emission energy. This innovativesolution from AFC Energy uses water and sun to generate hydrogen power. Notonly will this process emit no greenhouse emissions, its only by-product will bewater, which will be utilised elsewhere on-site.
Season 1 Calendar:
Desert X Prix: AlUla, Saudi Arabia
20-21 March 2021
Ocean X Prix: Lac Rose, Senegal
29-30 May 2021
Arctic X Prix: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
28-29 August 2021
Amazon X Prix: Para, Brazil
23-24 October 2021
Glacier X Prix: Patagonia, Argentina
11-12 December 2021