Aitech Defense Systems Inc., the world’s first and largest independent manufacturer of open architecture electronic boards and subsystem level products for harsh, environmentally-demanding defense, aerospace and space applications, has provided a low-power, radiation-tolerant 3U CompactPCI (cPCI) conduction-cooled bus avionics card set for the ATK Space Systems’ Responsive Space Modular Bus (RSMB) used on the Tactical Satellite-3, which was successfully launched on May 19, 2009.
Weighing less than 400 kilograms (880 pounds), the TacSat-3 will demonstrate a first generation modular bus providing the adaptability for a range of future small satellite missions.
At the core of Aitech’s avionics solution for RSMB was Aitech’s heritage S950 single board computer (SBC) that provides 128 MB of SDRAM arranged in a triple voting architecture. Aitech additionally supplied non-volatile Flash mass memory and customized digital I/O cards providing various serial and spacecraft bus interfaces. The Aitech solution also incorporated communications PMC for the remaining serial interfaces required to communicate with the onboard sensors and payloads.
Brendan Regan, vice president space mission systems at ATK Space Systems, said, “ATK’s RSMB is the core platform of the TacSat-3 space vehicle, and was versatile enough to support AFRL’s three mission payloads. Aitech’s low-power, space-proven card set facilitates data collection and transmission to ensure optimal mission operation.”
Roger Rowe, president and CEO of Aitech, noted, “Military operations are increasingly relying on real-time data obtained from space and transmitted directly to our men and women in service, while trying to stay within ever-tightening budget constraints and fast delivery schedules. These attributes demand affordable, flexible equipment that will perform for long periods under harsh conditions and enable cost-effective upgrades to systems and components to meet the needs of future responsive space missions.”
TacSat-3 is the first small satellite to participate in a formal payload selection process, and consists of three distinct payloads:
The first and the mission’s primary experiment, the Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer hyperspectral imager (ARTEMIS HSI) will rapidly supply target detection and identification data as well as information related to battlefield preparation and combat damage assessment.
Second, the Office of Naval Research’s Satellite Communications Package (SCP) trial will collect data from sea-based buoys and transmit information back to a ground station for expeditious communication to the war fighter.
Lastly, the AFRL-designed Space Avionics Experiment (SAE) payload will validate plug-and-play avionics capabilities using reprogrammable components to integrate the experiment and the spacecraft structure.
For more information please call 888-Aitech-8 (888-248-3248) or E: sales[.]rugged.com.
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Established in 1983, Aitech (rugged.com) offers military and space-qualified, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) embedded computing products for rugged defense, aerospace and astronautics (space) applications as well as provides radiation tolerant and full MIL-SPEC solutions. The company provides industry-standard, open architecture VMEbus, CompactPCI and high speed serial fabric-based boards, power subsystems, mass memory, enclosures and hardware subsystem integration along with logistics, configuration control, component obsolescence and earned-value management services.
Having pioneered the development of true military VMEbus products for use in mainstream defense and aerospace applications, Aitech utilizes its broad base of off-the-shelf products and technologies to also develop customer-specific solutions, deliver superior cost-performance and reliability, and expedite time to market. Applications for its products range from mission processors, fire control, mission control and autonomous robotic subsystems for ground vehicles as well as surface and subsurface naval platforms to tactical and strategic fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft, and low- to high-earth orbit and deep space vehicles.