The performance of the Curtiss-Wright COTS data acquisition products are being further developed into a form that provides additional mission critical functionality and radiation protection beyond the capability of the Smart Backplane. The key building block of such a device is a radiation hardened digital ASIC chip.
One application of this is the concept of radiation-tolerant Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) for distributed installation on satellites. This replaces the concept of centralized data acquisition directly to the main computer. The RTUs are connected to the main computer via avionics busses, resulting in a saving in harness mass and complexity. Changes are simplified as there is no need to rebuild software and retest the main computer when the telemetry is reconfigured.
The benefits of radiation tolerant data acquisition products include
- Cost Effective: Lower unit cost - due to standardisation and highly integrated functions based on Radiation Tolerant ASICs
- Safe Design: Designed and built to meet the safety & mission assurance requirements of high radiation space applications (SEE, TID, TVAC) at an affordable cost
- Failure Tolerance: Dual redundant internal data & power buses; Designed to operate to specification after failures of components/modules
- High Reliability: Designed to meet high reliability requirement of space missions
- A Modular, Flexible Architecture with Standard Interface: Easy & rapid re-configuration to meet specific mission/application needs; Allows integration if units from other vendors