The Space Sector of Aitech Defense Systems, Inc., a leading supplier of space-qualified electronics for open architecture CompactPCI technologies, has announced that the avionics card set it developed for ATK Space Systems’ Responsive Space Modular Bus (RSMB) used on the TacSat-3 satellite has successfully completed two years of maintenance free operation.
Brendan Regan, vice president space mission systems at ATK Space Systems, said, “We need to have the same high degree of confidence in our partners as we do in our own engineering team. Not only have Aitech’s boards held up, but they have delivered within a demanding schedule and worked closely with us to minimize our integration cycle. Aitech’s support of these critical factors directly supports ATK’s ability to deploy our advanced systems on time and on budget.”
As the heart of the TacSat-3 space vehicle, ATK’s RSMB was designed to meet the mission’s requirements of operational responsiveness, low-cost and high performance, while providing the flexibility to be adapted for additional operationally responsive space (ORS) missions into the future.Moshe Tal, CEO of Aitech Rugged Group, said, “The demands of space missions are quite different than most other embedded computing environments. Special considerations need to be made upfront to ensure systems function properly whendeployed. ATK’s knowledge of these requirements, combined with our reliable, proven hardware, has produced a dependable system that can be successfully employed in future satellite programs as well.”
Launched in May 2009, TacSat-3’s mission is to demonstrate the capability to conduct hyperspectral imaging that is responsive to the needs of U.S. warfighters. Since then, the spacecraft designed by ATK has delivered over 2,100 images and demonstrated the ability to transmit processed data to a ground station within ten minutes of call up.
The spacecraft is a pioneer of the emerging Operationally Responsive Space program, which was designed to meet the growing need of U.S. forces for flexible, affordable and responsive satellite systems.
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Established in 1983, Aitech 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.
Aitech is the only COTS company in the world that offers embedded products for space satellite bus, payloads and the launch vehicle applications with the following combination of features:
• Designed and qualified specifically for space;
• Radiation characterized;
• On-board triple redundant memory;
• Rad-hard SOI (Silicon On Insulator) ASICs;
• Single event effects and total dose radiation survivability.
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.