NASA Spinoff

Solid-State Recorders Enhance Scientific Data Collection

SEAKR hardware has flown on many NASA missions, from satellites and planetary probes to the space shuttles and the Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes. The company’s SSRs have recorded data for the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and SEAKR developed the High Rate Communication Outage Recorder (HCOR) for the International Space Station. The HCOR allows separate nodes within the station to route their science and communication data to a single, large memory buffer.

Outside of NASA, SEAKR has used its solid-state technology to build more than 1,100 memory boards for the U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster cargo aircraft. SEAKR SSRs are also part of the GeoEye-1 and WorldView-1 imaging satellites, which provide much of the high-resolution imagery for online mapping services.

“Whenever you see a picture on Google Earth, there’s a good probability that the image came through one of our recorders,” says Anderson.

SEAKR’s technological accomplishments continue to push the limits of solid-state space electronics. Through the Internet Routing in Space project, the company collaborated with Cisco Systems and the Department of Defense and built a space-hardened Internet router that allows Web access and communications to occur directly through satellites rather than double-hopping to and from stations on Earth, a capability that may one day allow quick and highly reliable communications for soldiers in the field.

SEAKR is also working on another SBIR partnership with Goddard to build a high-performance flash-based memory module based on the VPX electronics standard, which allows for greater power and ruggedness. The results, Anderson says, will continue to advance the technology that demonstrated its usefulness so readily on the Spartan satellite nearly 15 years ago.

“This is going to be a great collaboration,” says Anderson. “NASA is helping us fund a technology that is going to push the performance of these systems in the future.”

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