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Sun, Apr 18, 2010

Honeywell Makes Communications, GPS Announcements At Space Symposium

SERDES Communications Circuitry Is Radiation-Hardened For ISS

The space industry’s first radiation hardened electronic component for communication systems, which improves the speed of serial data communication fifty-fold over existing space electronics, has been selected to upgrade communication systems on the International Space Station. Honeywell made that announcement, along with others, at the International Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, CO.

CERDES Commuications System
Honeywell’s SERDES Quad Redundant Serializer / Deserializer will be launched on NASA’s space shuttle in August 2010. The company says the SERDES capability can be embedded into an HX5000 Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) or used as a standalone component in a system built by an electronics integrator. It allows significantly higher communication rates, up to 3.125 gigabytes per second per channel. Honeywell has achieved  production upgrade of the SERDES standard product – which is available for flight program use today – and submitted the requirements to obtain a Qualified Manufacturers Listing (QML).

“Honeywell's SERDES standard product is an industry first, providing commercial and military space  satellite operators with faster, more reliable data communications,” said Dave Douglass, Honeywell vice president, Space. “This is the first multi-channel SERDES device for severe radiation environments, and will allow satellite manufacturers to significantly increase system network capacity.”

The company claims that the benefits from the Quad Redundant SERDES Transceiver include much higher data throughput while dramatically reducing power, board and cable routing and system complexity.

GPS Inertial Measurment Units
Honeywell also announced that it has been selected to supply newly designed Inertial Measurement Units (IMU), used to accurately position satellites in orbit, for the United States Air Force (USAF) Global Positioning Satellite III Program, in a contract worth $45 million.

“Honeywell designed new IMUs to respond to the demands of today’s spacecraft with more reliable units that will extend satellite missions,” said Dave Douglass, Honeywell vice president, Space, Missiles and Munitions. “The advanced technology IMU utilizes Honeywell’s solid state Fiber Optic Gyro technology to assure higher accuracy and longer life.”

The USAF Global Positioning System provides precise timing and positioning information for military and civil users. The GPS III system, scheduled to begin launching in 2014, will provide additional signals to improve accuracy as well as anti-jamming measures crucial for the U.S. military. The new Honeywell IMU was developed for space applications that must survive harsh natural and man-made environments while providing extremely precise measurement capability and long mission life. This GPS III application represents the first in a family of IMUs developed by Honeywell targeted for the commercial and military market.

Landsat-5 Satellite Extension
The company's final announcement for Tuesday was that it's flight operations support team for Landsat-5 has completed the mission’s 26th year in orbit, well beyond the planned three-year mission-life, delivering data for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).

NASA launched Landsat-5 in March 1984, scheduled for retrieval by the space shuttle three years later. The retrieval did not occur and 26 years later, Landsat-5 is still flying, capturing images of the Earth’s global landmass, coastal boundaries, and coral reefs. The satellite has provided more than 700,000 images of the Earth’s land surface for scientists.

“The Honeywell flight engineers make heroic efforts on a regular basis to keep the mission alive,” said Tegan Collier, Honeywell Technology Solutions, Inc. (HTSI), manager of Landsat Flight Operations. “The satellite was well-built, but it’s also been well-flown. Honeywell has shown the expertise required to extract mission value out of the spacecraft well beyond expectations.”

Honeywell provides flight operations support for Landsat-5 for the USGS from the control center in HTSI’s headquarters in Columbia, MD., and a back-up operations center at the nearby Goddard Space Flight Center. Honeywell is working with the USGS to extend the Landsat-5 mission to 2013.

FMI: www.honeywell.com

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