Skip to comments.Improving Data Download From Outer Space
Posted on 05/21/2010 12:40:35 AM PDT by ErnstStavroBlofeld
Satellite systems in space keyed to detect nuclear events and environmental gasses currently face a kind of data logjam because their increasingly powerful sensors produce more information than their available bandwidth can easily transmit. Experiments conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the International Space Station preliminarily indicate that the problem could be remedied by orbiting more complex computer chips to pre-reduce the large data stream.
While increased satellite on-board computing capabilities ideally would mean that only the most useful information would be transmitted to Earth, an unresolved question had been how well the latest in computing electronics would fare in the harsh environment of outer space.
The fear had been that high-energy particles might collide with a transistor and, by changing a zero to a one, alter the value of an individual calculation, producing incorrect results in what could be matters of national security or critical environmental calculations.
The Sandia experiments are providing insights into the effects of high-energy radiation on these computing electronics, enabling mitigation of these potentially crippling effects in future processing-architecture designs.
"We're getting true on-orbit data from a space environment," said Dave Bullington, Sandia's lead engineer on the experiment taking place in low Earth orbit. "Data messages are being sent back every four minutes."
(Excerpt) Read more at spacedaily.com ...
They used to make a silicon on sapphire version of the old 1802 processor. It was rad hard for use in space probes like the Galileo.