SBS COTS boards used as part of the Boeing Delta IV rocket

Engineers at Boeing Space Systems in Huntington Beach, Calif., are using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) printed circuit boards from SBS Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., for Boeing's Delta IV rocket program.

Jul 1st, 2001

By John McHale

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — Engineers at Boeing Space Systems in Huntington Beach, Calif., are using commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) printed circuit boards from SBS Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., for Boeing's Delta IV rocket program.

Boeing officials contracted SBS engineers to provide their Model 4416-PCI and PASS-3200-PCI-1 boards to simulate the telemetry stream and emulate of the MIL-STD-1553 data bus during system integration and testing, SBS officials say.

"Boeing liked the SBS boards because they were based upon the VME architecture, and could operate under the VxWorks operating system," says Ron Dreher, president of Orocom Inc., a manufacturer's representative in Thousand Oaks, Calif., that represents SBS to the military electronics market.

This gave them a COTS solution, with which "they could essentially write their own software application around," he says. "This is of course much better than a proprietary telemetry system that would not allow them to do that."

The VME boards required no additional ruggedization as they do not fly on the Delta Rocket, Dreher explains. "They are however located under the launch pad and had to be able to sustain a very harsh acoustical environment. This was taken care of in the VME rack.

The SBS boards were integrated by Real Time Logic — also represented by Orocom — into a VME chassis along with other system boards such as a VME Power PC board, he says.

SBS engineers also provided bit synchronizers, decommutators, PCM simulators, and the industry-standard PASS-3200 MIL-STD-1553 emulator for the Delta program. The systems were to be used at facilities in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Huntington Beach, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Engineers integrated the model 4400-VF10 bit synchronizers, and 4422-V64 decommutators into a Real Time Logic VME system running the VxWorks operating system as part of the critical Telemetry Sequencer Count Rack.

This system receives two separate telemetry streams from the Delta IV rocket prior to launch. The boards are in a triple-redundant voting system that decides if the Delta rocket should launch.

The open architecture also enables Boeing and Real Time Logic engineers "to pull out any obsolete board and plug in a new more powerful solution," Dreher says.

For more information on SBS, Real Time Logic, and Orocom contact Ron Dreher by phone at 805-241-8386, by fax at 805-241-7576, by mail at 7 Cantera Street, Thousand Oaks, Calif., or by e-mail at rdreher880@worldnet.att.net.

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