Space Shuttle Orbiter
In 1998, we supplied the first ever COTS computer integrated into Space Shuttle Orbiter subsystems. Demonstrating advanced instrumentation and data acquisition technology, our products were used for the Integrated Vehicle Health Management, Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Technology Demonstration (IVHM HTD) flight experiment.
This was mission STS-95 on Space Shuttle Orbiter Discovery, the same mission that saw Senator John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, return to space.
IVHM HTD monitored the “health” of the actual vehicle, acquiring, processing and recording data from sensors located on selected subsystems throughout the Space Shuttle Orbiter. The system was operational throughout the 9 day mission. On its return, mission information was downloaded, allowing data analysis of selected flight hardware components.
Our COTS products included a conduction cooled PowerPC and multiprotocol communications controller, supplied with BIT diagnostic firmware and Wind River’s VxWorks/Tornado board support package and drivers. These were fitted into our customized 15 slot, conduction cooled, ATR enclosure to meet specific NASA requirements and the harsh environmental conditions, the enclosure featured hermetic sealing, raised lid, custom front panel, clear anodized finish and a radiation hardened power supply. Following the overall success of mission STS-95, other IVHM HTD missions followed in 1999.