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Thread: NASA wants a very unusual computer

  1. #1
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    Default NASA wants a very unusual computer

    This is not your average single-board computer, with specs beyond the norm even for manned or most unmanned missions. Odd.

    Since the boards for the Orion should already be set I can't help but think this is for the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV) space pod. That or the crewed follow-on the the X-37B.

    http://www.murc.ws/showthread.php?t=...ration+vehicle

    NASA JSC Solicitation: Single Board Computer For SpaceSynopsis - Jan 25, 2012

    General Information
    Solicitation Number: NNJ12421704R
    Posted Date: Jan 25, 2012
    FedBizOpps Posted Date: Jan 25, 2012
    Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
    Original Response Date: Feb 08, 2012
    Current Response Date: Feb 08, 2012
    Classification Code: 59 -- Electrical and electronic equipment components
    NAICS Code: 334111
    Set-Aside Code: Total Small Business

    Contracting Office Address

    NASA/Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center, Houston Texas, 77058-3696, Mail Code: BH

    Description

    NASA/JSC has a requirement for a Single Board Computer for Space with the ability to clear errors in 1mS to meet the time to first failure estimate of 3 thousand years. This fidelity in error correction is necessary to meet the expected level of redundancy for a human rated spacecraft. A market survey indicates that Maxwell has the only commercially available singe board computer that will meet the Government's requirements.

    Maxwell Technologies has an existing single board computer with flight pedigree and flight heritage. It implements Triple Redundant Processing Single Event Upset(SEU) Mitigation. Triple Mode Redundant (TMR) voting logic and Error Detection combined with Maxwell's proprietary Resynchronization & Scrubbing method allows all three processors to clear errors in 1 mS.

    The Government intends to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.
    >
    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 31st January 2012 at 22:28.
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    Super MURCer KRSESQ's Avatar
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    Default

    Interesting to note, after looking at the system specs for that board, how little computing power (by today's standards) is actually needed for spaceflight. The big-money issues are rapid error correction and radiation shielding.

    The Government intends to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12.
    Not trying to develop it in-house? Maybe there's hope for NASA yet.

  3. #3
    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
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    OK, so that one is supposed to run for at least 3,000 years (each and every one of them)?
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    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    That's what they say. Thing is that kind of reliability is unusual even for probes to high radiation environments like Jupiter, Saturn or near the sun. But for a human rated spacecraft?

    Don't worry - a lot of aerospace engineers are scratching their heads too.
    Dr. Mordrid
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    nah, nothing that sophisticated. An engineer just wrote a spec to guarantee using Maxwell. Plus the Fault tree probably required that PFD to meet the overall realiability requirements. Think of the 5 computers running the shuttle.

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    Administrator Dilitante1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Mordrid View Post
    That's what they say. Thing is that kind of reliability is unusual even for probes to high radiation environments like Jupiter, Saturn or near the sun. But for a human rated spacecraft?

    Don't worry - a lot of aerospace engineers are scratching their heads too.


    remember there was an initiative announced for a 100 mission spacecraft not long ago
    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2011/...tellar-travel/

    might be related to that project they are ramping up for

  7. #7
    Moderator Dr Mordrid's Avatar
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    The 100 Year Starship program got a skipper a few weeks ago; former astronaut and serious Trekker Mae Jemison.

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-...ip-leader.html

    Last edited by Dr Mordrid; 1st February 2012 at 21:05.
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    Super MURCer Evildead666's Avatar
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    A computer to last 3000 years ?
    They're building a Space Ark, and we're not invited
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