Parvus enclosure protects avionics during spacecraft fire

Scientists working on the Delta Clipper Experimental Advanced (DC-XA) were able to save most of the electronics in the spacecraft`s avionics rack with the PC/104 enclosure from Parvus Corp. when during a return trip one of its landing gear legs failed to deploy and caused the rocket to fall over and explode.

Sep 1st, 1997

Scientists working on the Delta Clipper Experimental Advanced (DC-XA) were able to save most of the electronics in the spacecraft`s avionics rack with the PC/104 enclosure from Parvus Corp. when during a return trip one of its landing gear legs failed to deploy and caused the rocket to fall over and explode.

An oxygen fireball erupted internally and destroyed most of the wiring and components in the avionics rack.

"When the computer assembly was removed from the Parvus enclosure, it was connected to test equipment, and powered up successfully in the laboratory at MSFC with little more than peripheral damage indicated," says Clint Patrick, an electronics engineer at the Marshal Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. "We were perhaps not entirely shocked that it wasn`t consumed, but more surprised the computer worked after it was exposed to that environment."

The Parvus chassis consists of slotted rails designed to hold PC/104 cards via a 4-point system. The rails evenly space the cards .6" apart to eliminate the need for spacers between the boards. This allows the boards to be easily removed from the stack. PC/104 is ideal because of its size (3.6" x 3.8"), rugged construction and low power consumption. - J.M.

For more information on the PC/104 and Parvus, phone Shara D. Knight, at 801-483-1533, fax 801-483-1523, mail to Parvus Corp., 1214 Wilmington Ave., Suite 100, Salt Lake City, Utah 84152-1045, e-mail parvus@parvus.com, or on the World wide Web at http://www.parvus.com.

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