3Com switches enable space shuttle to talk to ground

Engineers at CrossLink Inc. in Boulder, Colo., needed high-speed, scaleable switches for the first networked laboratory system for the NASA space shuttle. So they chose SuperStack switches from 3Com Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif.

Engineers at CrossLink Inc. in Boulder, Colo., needed high-speed, scaleable switches for the first networked laboratory system for the NASA space shuttle. So they chose SuperStack switches from 3Com Corp. in Santa Clara, Calif.

The new Experiment Data System (EDS) is being developed for SPACEHAB Inc. of Vienna, Va., which supplies on-board laboratories for space shuttle missions and provides re-supply services to the Russian space station MIR. EDS will debut in 1998 and become standard equipment on subsequent shuttle missions that use SPACEHAB.

"We wanted a proven, reliable provider with scaleable systems that could perform both 10- and 100-megabit-per-second switching," says M. Tim Jones, director of software engineering at CrossLink. "Of the vendors we saw 3Com delivered the best price/performance and support. Ultimately, when we integrate their switches within EDS, we have to stake down components so they can`t come loose or vibrate, and conformally coat the boards inside the switches to make them flight-ready. 3Com`s tightly constructed systems greatly simplified this task."

The EDS networks will be based on a stackable 12-port 3Com SuperStack II Switch 3000 Fast Ethernet system and a 24-port 3Com SuperStack II Switch 1000. - J.M.

For more information on the SuperStack switches contact 3Com by phone at 408-764-5000, by fax at 408-764-5001, by mail at 3Com, 5400 Bayfront Plaza, P.O. Box 58145, Santa Clara, Calif., 95052-8145, or on the World Wide Web at http:// www.3com.com.

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