Cobham releases radiation-hardened Onboard Computing reference design
(5 August 2019 - Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions) Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), announced today the availability of a radiation-hardened Onboard Computing (OBC) reference design to speed the development of space computing platforms including CubeSats.
Historically used in low-orbit Earth for applications such as remote sensing or communications, CubeSats are being increasingly deployed for interplanetary missions due to their numerous benefits such as standardization, affordability and their small form factor. CubeSats have traditionally been based on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronics, however, Cobham’s OBC Reference Design offers a path to significantly higher reliability and enables system architects to easily develop a computing platform that is ready for space flight.
“Leveraging our expertise developed over decades of providing radiation-hardened, high reliability components as well as our software expertise for space and satellite systems, this OBC Reference Design offers extensive benefits by combining Cobham’s best-in-class high reliability components and software IP to enable prolonged missions and larger payloads while significantly reducing time-to-market and development risk, said Kevin Jackson, Vice President and General Manager, Semiconductor and Space Solutions, Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions. “From Apollo to today’s commercial mega constellations, CAES has a long heritage of providing world leading space technologies. Our semiconductor, RadHard, high reliability microelectronic products are recognized for their rich feature set, performance, pedigree, and dependability. They have powered hundreds of missions including NASA InSight, Parker Solar Probe, and numerous commercial, military and government satellites. We look forward to continuing our heritage of innovation through our new cost-effective LeanREL ICs, OBC solutions, and more.”
About Cobham’s OBC Reference Design
Building upon previous development work that Cobham performed for the European Space Agency (ESA) for its upcoming JUICE mission to Jupiter’s icy moons, Cobham’s OBC Reference Design is based on the company’s GR712RC LEON3FT Dual Core Microprocessor and fits into a footprint as small as 100 cm2 making it ideal for CubeSats. All components are radiation-tolerant up to 100 krad(Si) TID, making it a good fit for the emerging CubeSat and SmallSat markets, as well as for deep space probe and autonomous spacecraft missions. The Reference Design provides all functionality necessary to enable rapid development of a configurable space computing platform including: design files, a power consumption calculator, radiation, part stress and worst case analyses. In addition, Cobham’s OBC Reference Design features extensive software support including; board support package, boot software, peripheral drivers and a path for software validation. The reference design can be leveraged on its own or easily interface to a broader system that includes an FPGA.
About Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions
Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions (CAES), the U.S. subsidiary of Cobham plc operating under a Special Security Agreement (SSA) with the US Department of Defense, provides a number of mission-critical and specialized solutions for harsh environments. Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions supplies defense, aerospace, security, medical and industrial markets with critical solutions for communication on land, at sea, and in the air and space, by moving data through off-the-shelf and customized products and subsystems including RF, microwave, and high reliability microelectronics, antenna apertures and motion control solutions.
Cobham offers an innovative range of technologies and services to solve challenging problems in commercial, defence and security markets, from deep space to the depths of the ocean.
We employ around 10,000 people primarily in the USA, UK, Europe and Australia, and have customers and partners in over 100 countries, with market leading positions in: wireless, audio, video and data communications, including satellite communications; defence electronics; air-to-air refueling; aviation services; life support and mission equipment.