Rugged embedded computing chassis for data recording in space introduced by Curtiss-Wright

ASHBURN, Va. – The Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions Division in Ashburn, Va., is introducing a rugged multi-slot embedded computing chassis called the KAM/CSB/12U Smart Backplane subsystem for data acquisition, data processing, and recording in radiation-intensive space environments.

By Intelligent Aerospace staff
By Intelligent Aerospace staff

ASHBURN, Va. – The Curtiss-Wright Corp. Defense Solutions Division in Ashburn, Va., is introducing a rugged multi-slot embedded computing" target='_blank'>embedded computing chassis called the KAM/CSB/12U Smart Backplane subsystem for data acquisition, data processing, and recording in radiation-intensive space environments.

The rugged Smart Backplane is designed for use in demanding space-based mission critical data handling applications on launch vehicles, re-entry vehicles, and low earth orbit satellites.

Curtiss-Wright's Smart Backplane technology provides system designers with an intelligent multi-slot backplane that protects critical data acquisition electronics with a radiation-tolerant architecture.

A fundamental threat for electronics systems deployed in radiation-intensive environments is the destructive power of single event latch-ups (SEL). Until now, this threat has required radiation-hardened electronics hardware.

If a potential SEL is detected on any of the chassis COTS modules, the Smart Backplane resets the operation of that module only. Typically the affected module is back operating again within a few seconds.

Related: International Space Station study taps radiation-hardened electronics technology from VORAGO Technologies

An SEL is the inadvertent creation of a low-impedance path on an integrated circuit and is caused by ionizing radiation. It triggers a high current which disrupts proper functioning of the circuit, possibly even leading to its destruction due to overcurrent. A fast power cycle is required to correct this situation and prevent permanent damage occurring in the device.

Smart Backplane also enables any of the chassis modules to be commanded individually to switch on or off during different phases of a spacecraft mission.

The backplane also provides continuous health status information to the on-board mission computer as well as a watchdog capability by monitoring whether an SEL is detected repeatedly in the same module, or if the unit temperature exceeds a pre-defined value.

Curtiss-Wright's Smart Backplane technology has been selected by The Boeing Co to supply rugged data handling avionics for the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 spacecraft. More recently, Smart Backplane was selected by Italy's ELV SpA (Avio Group) to provide a COTS-based telemetry data system for the new VEGA-C launcher.

For more information contact Curtiss-Wright online at www.curtisswrightds.com/products/space.

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