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BAE Systems Computers Handle Processing On NASA GLAST Mission


Farnborough, UK – BAE Systems computers will enable a new NASA satellite to examine gamma rays, the most intense form of radiation in the universe. Seven of the company’s RAD750™ computers are aboard the Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope (GLAST), on a mission to measure and characterize the high-energy radiation emitted by black holes and emerging neutron stars.

Of the seven BAE Systems computers aboard GLAST, two control spacecraft functions such as position keeping and data handling, and five will manage functions on the satellite’s scientific instrument. Following a 60-day checkout and calibration period, GLAST will transmit more than 100 gigabits of information daily to NASA scientists.

“This mission called for computers that can provide significant processing power,” said Vic Scuderi, manager of satellite electronics at BAE Systems’ Specialty Microelectronics Foundry in Manassas, Virginia. “These computers will help scientists study elusive gamma rays as they search for information about the nature of the universe and its many mysteries.”

The RAD750 computer is the most technologically advanced of three radiation-hardened single-board microprocessors BAE Systems builds for the space industry. Since the mid-1980’s, BAE Systems has been the leading provider of radiation technology, components and single- board computers. With the launch of GLAST, there are now almost 500 BAE Systems single-board computers in space providing mission processing on 170 satellites. These satellites perform communications, science and Department of Defense applications for a wide range of customers.


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