NEW HIGH PERFORMANCE RUGGED, SINGLE-SLOT SBC
FROM AITECH PROVIDES 2ESST VMEBUS PERFORMANCE

Chatsworth, Calif. June 2009 – 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 HIS) 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.

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