Curtiss-Wright to help enhance reliability in critical NASA launch equipment

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., 4 Aug. 2005. NASA space-launch experts at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are looking to Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing in Dayton, Ohio, to provide fiber-optic bypass switches for critical launch equipment.

By John Keller

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., 4 Aug. 2005. NASA space-launch experts at Kennedy Space Center, Fla., are looking to Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing in Dayton, Ohio, to provide fiber-optic bypass switches for critical launch equipment.

NASA is buying 52 fiber optic bypass switches from Curtiss-Wright (formerly Systran) to enhance reliability in an optical ring network that simulates a common data buffer between the various components in NASA's telemetry system at Kennedy Space Center. No dollar value for the order was disclosed.

The telemetry system uses Curtiss-Wright Scramnet+ circuit cards in the telemetry system, and NASA officials say Curtiss-Wright is the only supplier able to provide fiber optic bypass switches compatible with the network.

The fiber optic bypass switches, identified as part number P/N H-AS-FORELAY-60, help maintain the optical ring network's operation if a node fails or malfunctions. Without these kinds of switches, a node failure could bring the entire network down.

These switches in NASA's telemetry system will enable technicians to remove or add nodes from the Scramnet+ ring as necessary during the operation of the telemetry system.

This direct interface between the Scramnet+ card and the optical bypass switch provides several abilities necessary keep corruption of data to a minimum in case a Scramnet ring component fails.

First, the interface between the Scramnet+ card and the optical bypass switch provides the ability for a Scramnet card to remove itself quickly from the Scramnet ring if its internal programming detects a failure within the Scramnet card.

Second, it enables NASA's in-house health monitoring software applications to remove a component from the Scramnet ring if it detects an error in the functioning of a component.

Finally, it provides the ability to command the bypass switch directly from the Scramnet card using NASA software.

For more information contact Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing online at www.cwcembedded.com.

More in Computers