Rad-hard satellite embedded computer from Aitech performs maintenance-free for two years on orbit

CHATSWORTH, Calif., 9 Aug. 2011. A radiation-hardened avionics card set from Aitech Defense Systems Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif., has completed two years of maintenance-free operation in orbit aboard the U.S. Air Fore TacSat-3 military reconnaissance satellite that provides real-time data to military commanders in the field. The Aitech rad-hard embedded computing cards are part of TacSat-3's standard satellite bus from the Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) Aerospace Systems segment in Magna, Utah.

The satellite's responsive Space Modular Bus (RSMB) from ATK has an onboard payload embedded processor that provides data within 10 minutes of collection to military commanders. Aitech provides the company's rad-hard avionics card set for the RSMB. ATK also developed the TacSat-3 solar arrays and onboard data handling system.

Not only have Aitech's boards held up, but they have delivered within a demanding schedule and worked closely with us to minimize our integration cycle," says Brendan Regan, ATK's vice president of space mission systems.

TacSat-3, launched in May 2009, has three payloads: the Advanced Responsive Tactically Effective Military Imaging Spectrometer (ARTEMIS) hyperspectral imager, the Ocean Data Telemetry Microsatellite Link, and the Space Avionics Experiment. Since its launch, TacSat-3 has delivered more than 2,100 images and transmits processed data to a ground station within 10 minutes of call up, Aitech officials say.

For more information contact ATK Aerospace Systems online at www.atk.com, or Aitech Defense Systems at www.rugged.com.

Related stories

-- Rad-hard, single-board computer for space avionics introduced by Aitech;

-- Aitech brings COTS to space; and

-- Shrinking component geometries challenge rad-hard designers.

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