NASA Studies Sun with Radiation-Hardened Computers from BAE Systems

BAE Systems’ radiation-hardened computers and solid-state recorders are helping to navigate NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) spacecraft on their mission to study the effects of the sun’s solar flares. Two identical STEREO spacecraft were launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., Oct. 25, on the same rocket. The two satellites will give scientists a three-dimensional view of the sun from different orbits.

“BAE Systems’ radiation-hardened computers and solid-state recorders are essential to the STEREO satellites, providing on-board computing and data storage for the instruments and spacecraft control functions,” said George Nossaman, director of Advanced Digital Solutions for BAE Systems.

Each of the STEREO spacecraft uses two BAE Systems RAD6000 radiation-hardened flight computers and one solid-state recorder card.

Additionally, the Naval Research Laboratory’s Sun Earth Connection Coronal and Heliospheric Investigation instruments aboard each STEREO spacecraft employ BAE Systems’ RAD750 mission computers, which provide data processing as the instruments study the evolution of solar flares.

BAE Systems has a 20-year history of providing radiation-hardened solutions for U.S. space programs. Its RAD6000 computers are installed on each of the Mars Exploration Rovers, launched in 2003. The only control and data computers aboard the two still-broadcasting Rovers, they continue to help execute that exploration.

About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is the premier trans-Atlantic defense and aerospace company, delivering a full range of products and services for air, land, and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions, and customer support services. BAE Systems, with more than 86,000 employees worldwide, had 2005 sales that exceeded $28 billion.