TRW uses Vexcel technology in NASA satellite

TRW experts in Fairfax, Va., are using 10 new data capture systems for use in NASA`s Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) Data Operation System.

TRW experts in Fairfax, Va., are using 10 new data capture systems for use in NASA`s Earth Observation Satellite (EOS) Data Operation System.

The VxDCS direct capture systems from Vexcel Corp. in Boulder, Colo., enable satellite and other high-rate data streams to be captured directly onto computer disks for processing, storage, retransmission, and distribution via networks, or transferring data to archive media.

VxDCS will capture data at three automated, or unmanned, ground stations collecting EOS data north of the Arctic Circle. The data will be collected and retransmitted by VxDCS to a communications satellite, to be subsequently downlinked and processed at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The goal in using VxDCS is to allow the ground stations to be operated remotely from Goddard.

VxDCS technology provides an alternative to high-density tapes and digital recorders. Each system purchased by TRW consists of a UNIX workstation computer with a PCI bus, Vexcel`s integrated circuit boards for data capture and export, and a disk array for storage. A basic direct capture system is less than half the cost of most high-density digital recorders, Vexcel officials claim.

One of the main applications for VxDCS is in satellite ground receiving stations. Historically, data from satellites have been captured on high-density tapes since the downlinked data rates exceed the capacity for capturing data directly onto computer disks. VxDCS can capture data at speeds in excess of 320 megabits per second. — J.M.

For more information on VxDCS contact Vexcel Corp., by phone at 303-444-0094, by fax at 303-444-0470, by mail at 4909 Nautilus Court, Boulder, Col. 80301, by e-mail at info@vexcel.com, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.vexcel. com.

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