FARNBOROUGH, United Kingdom, 14 July 2008. Using computers from BAE Systems in Manassas, Va., a new NASA satellite will examine gamma rays, the most intense form of radiation in the universe.
The Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope (GLAST) carries seven of BAE System's RAD750 computers on a mission to measure and characterize the high-energy radiation emitted by black holes and emerging neutron stars.
Among the seven systems include, two control spacecraft functions such as position-keeping and data-handling, and five will manage functions on the satellite's scientific instrument. Following a 60-day checkout and calibration period, GLAST will transmit more than 100 gigabits of information daily to NASA scientists.
"This mission called for computers that can provide significant processing power," says Vic Scuderi, manager of satellite electronics at BAE Systems' Specialty Microelectronics Foundry in Manassas, Va. "These computers will help scientists study elusive gamma rays as they search for information about the nature of the universe."
The RAD750 computer is the most advanced of three radiation-hardened single-board microprocessors BAE Systems builds for the space industry.