Low cost spacecraft computers: Oxymoron or future trend?Over the last few decades, application of current terrestrial computer technology in embedded spacecraft control systems has been expensive and wrought with many technical challenges. These challenges have centered on overcoming the extreme environmental constraints (protons, neutrons, gamma radiation, cosmic rays, temperature, vibration, etc.) that often preclude direct use of commercial off-the-shelf computer technology. Reliability, fault tolerance and power have also greatly constrained the selection of spacecraft control system computers. More recently, new constraints are being felt, cost and mass in particular, that have again narrowed the degrees of freedom spacecraft designers once enjoyed. This paper discusses these challenges, how they were previously overcome, how future trends in commercial computer technology will simplify (or hinder) selection of computer technology for spacecraft control applications, and what spacecraft electronic system designers can do now to circumvent them.
Manning, Robert M. (Jet Propulsion Lab. California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA, US, United States)
August 16, 2013
January 1, 1993
COMPUTER OPERATIONS AND HARDWARE
IDRelationTitle19950048790Analytic PrimaryGuidance and control, 1993; Annual Rocky Mountain Guidance and Control Conference, 16th, Keystone, CO, Feb. 6-10, 1993visibility_off