Mars Surveyor uses rugged Datamobile hard drive

Mars Surveyor program engineers at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Littleton, Colo., needed a hard drive rugged enough to survive an airborne drop of 11,500 feet during equipment testing. The Datamobile hard drive from Inter-Tech Corp. in Scottsdale, Ariz., met their requirements.

Mars Surveyor program engineers at Lockheed Martin Astronautics in Littleton, Colo., needed a hard drive rugged enough to survive an airborne drop of 11,500 feet during equipment testing. The Datamobile hard drive from Inter-Tech Corp. in Scottsdale, Ariz., met their requirements.

Lockheed Martin engineers selected the Inter-Tech`s device to store important data during helicopter and airborne test drops. The whole test phase of this depended on the survival of the disk drive and the integrity of its data recorded during the drop.

Researchers housed the Mars Surveyor landing radar and computer electronics in a cylindrical shell and catapulted them from an aircraft at 11,500 feet. After dropping several thousand feet a parachute opened to slow the descent. The vehicle then hit the ground at about 13 miles per hour. Although the onboard computer was not operational after the drop, the Datamobile drive survived intact and when researchers inserted it in another computer, they successfully extracted and analyzed the test data.

"The radar drop test was a complete success," says John Cuseo, lead engineer for Lockheed Martin`s radar test program. - J.M.

For more information on the Datamobile and Inter-Tech Corp. contact Mary-Ann Hart by phone at 602-945-0085, by fax at 602-945-3080, by mail at 4301 N. 75th Street, Suite 201, Scottsdale, Ariz., 85251, by e-mail at mhart@gte.net, or on the World Wide Web at http://www.usa. net/~itc/.

More in Test