Using Thermal Simulation to Model the Effects of Wind on the Mars Curiosity Rover

The Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), a joint center of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas and the Instituto Nacional de Tecnica Aeroespacíal (CSIC-INTA), designed and built the weather monitoring station contributed by the Spanish government as part of the payload of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, which landed on Mars in August 2012 (Figure 1).

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace

GaN Breaks Barriers

The increasing demand for higher data rates in telecommunications and higher resolution in industrial systems is pushing the frequency of operation higher for the electronics that support them. Many of these systems operate over a wide frequency spectrum, and further increased bandwidth requirements are a common request for new designs. Across many of these systems there is a push to use one signal chain for all frequency bands.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, RF & Microwave Electronics

Ruggedized Computer Rack Cases

Verotec Inc
Manchester, NH

Verotec has been selected by Lockheed Martin to provide custom 19” 6U 600 mm deep rack cases to house part of the ISTAR system in the AJAX next generation armored fighting vehicles developed for the UK Army.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense

Secure Wireless Command Post

Pacific Star Communications, Inc. (PacStar)
Portland, OR
(503) 403-3000

PacStar®, a developer and supplier of advanced communications solutions for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), recently announced its new PacStar Secure Wireless Command Post (Wi-Fi), a deployable small form factor wireless access system designed to meet NSA Commercial Solutions for Classified (CSfC) program requirements. The modular system brings the benefits of classified wireless access to warfighters in the field, for use with smartphones, tablets and laptop computers, while saving on size, weight and power, and reducing the setup and teardown time of traditional command post networks.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense

Thermoplastic Fuselage Demonstrator

Porcher Industries
Badinières, France
+33 (0)4 74 43 10 10

Porcher Industries, a company that specializes in technical textiles and thermoplastic composite solutions, announced that they supported STELIA Aerospace during that company's recent “ARCHES BOX TP” research project.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Defense

Radiation Tolerant “Smart Backplanes” for Spacecraft Avionics

In recent years there has been a trend towards the wider use of COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) equipment in space missions. This trend has been mainly driven by the restrictions in R&D budgets and a growing demand for shorter design cycles. Funding Agencies are encouraging designers of spacecraft systems to identify and overcome the obstacles that previously prevented the use of COTS products for space missions.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Architecture, Avionics, Reliability, Radiation, Radiation protection, Spacecraft

On-Orbit Satellite Refueling Flow Measurement

Over 7000 satellites have been placed in Earth-orbit since the beginning of the space age. 3000 are currently in orbit, of which 1000 are active, making our near space neighborhood a pretty crowded place. Now, plans are in motion to launch constellations of globe-girding communication satellites that will number in the thousands to provide worldwide internet connectivity. This is in addition to the ever-expanding constellation of LEO, geo synchronous and geo stationary satellites. Clearly, the number of satellites in orbit is on a trajectory of significant growth and we are approaching a point when the economics will demand longer life from these expensive assets just as the costs to put them in orbit continue to fall. NASA’s Restore-L mission, under the direction of the Agency’s Satellite Servicing Projects Division (SSPD) headquartered at the Goddard Space Center, is a major step towards realizing key technologies needed to provide in-space satellite servicing in order to increase on-orbit asset life.

Posted in: Articles, Aerospace, Measurements, Refueling, Satellites