Glenn Rakow is the Development Lead for SpaceWire, a high-speed communications protocol for space-flight electronics originally developed in 1999 by the European Space Agency (ESA). Under Rakow’s leadership, the SpaceWire standard was developed into a network of nodes and routers interconnected through bi-directional, high-speed serial links, making the system more modular, flexible, and reusable.
Basically, SpaceWire is a method for interconnecting spacecraft components. In the future, Rakow sees SpaceWire replacing parallel buses like PCI, and being a good application for serial backplanes.
SpaceWire is currently being used in some places on the Orion crew exploration vehicle for the serial backplane. The communications protocol would also be ideal for robotic missions that don’t require galvanic isolation.
Read the “Who’s Who at NASA” interview with Glenn Rakow here.