Parvus PC/104 board to fly on NASA balloon

Designers of the NASA Ultra Long Duration Balloon (UDLB) are using the PC/104 Octal Serial Board, with card cage and rail-mounting system from Parvus Corp. in Salt Lake City.

Mar 1st, 2001
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By John McHale

SALT LAKE CITY — Designers of the NASA Ultra Long Duration Balloon (UDLB) are using the PC/104 Octal Serial Board, with card cage and rail-mounting system from Parvus Corp. in Salt Lake City.


PC/104 boards from Parvus are on a NASA research balloon.
Click here to enlarge image

Engineers at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., are developing the UDLB, a large, pumpkin-shaped balloon that will launch in 2001 and float to the outer edges of Earth's atmosphere — four times higher than passenger jets can fly.

The UDLB will remain at this altitude for several months to gather data to help NASA scientists develop balloon systems capable of supporting scientific observations above 99 percent of the Earth's atmosphere for as long as 100 days, Parvus officials say.

The commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) PC/104 boards are small, rugged, and can stack together into a compact cube, says Parvus President Troy Takach.

The microprocessor and power supply fit in a 4-by-4-inch cube, Takach says. The board is shielded behind an aluminum enclosure, Takach adds. The Octal Serial Board is for high-vibration, high-shock applications such as military ground vehicles, equipment control, and robotics, Parvus officials say.

Parvus engineers will release a version this month with a high-end power supply to eliminate heat sinks and cooling fans, Takach says. It handles about 95 percent of the power needs, he adds.

The Parvus PC/104 Octal Serial Port Card has eight serial port channels for RS232, RS422, and RS485 serial I/O in embedded applications. Each of the eight channels provides RS232, RS422, RS485, I/O address selection, and interrupt request selection.

The Parvus rail-mounting system enables as many as 14 boards to stack in one cube, Takach says. The rail structure ranges from .4 inches to .10 inches, at 2-inch increments, he adds.

For more information on Parvus PC/104 products contact the company by phone at 801-483-1533, by fax at 801-483-1523, by mail at 396 W. Ironwood Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115, by e-mail at parvus@parvus.com or on the World Wide Web at http://www.parvus.com.

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