Friday, July 11, 2008


In unmanned missions, almost everything on site is controlled by computers. The computers which are used for space missions need to be very robust as they have to operate in high radiation zone and in a wide temperature profile. They need to be compact and weigh less to be put cheaply into the space. They should consume less energy. And their performance should be high.

The Advanced Space borne Computer Module(ASCM) was a space electronics program funded by BMDO, the US Air Force, and Phillips Laboratory whose main intention was to create a processor chip to be used in space missions. RAD 6000 was the outcome of the program. RAD6000 is a radiation-hardened single board computer, based on the IBM RISC(Reduced Instruction Set Computer) single chip CPU from the BAE systems.

RAD6000 has been used in the following space programs successfully

Path Finder Lander (1997)
Deep Space 1 (1998)
Mars Polar Lander (1998)
Mars Climate Orbiter (1998)
Stardust (1999)
IMAGE/Explorer 78 (2000)
Mars Odyssey (2001)
Genesis (2001)
Spirit and Opportunity (2003)
STEREO (2006)
Dawn (2007)
Phoenix (2008)
Spitzer Space Telescope (2009)

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