NASA Spinoff

Ulyssix has been quick to modify their products to support the needs of the space shuttle program. Many of the suggestions made in conjunction with the shuttle program have been permanently incorporated in the company’s products and made available to other users, governmental and non-governmental alike.

Product Outcome

Beyond its extensive role in NASA missions, the company’s Tarsus line provides support to a host of military and aerospace applications. Eglin Air Force Base has employed Linux code created under the NASA Space Act Agreement to use the TarsusPCM card for remote-controlled drone testing. Pratt & Whitney (a division of United Technologies Corporation) and Embraer S.A. are utilizing Ulyssix Tarsus hardware for jet engine and airplane testing and development. ATK Space Systems incorporated the company’s technology into the ground-support equipment for the satellites it built for NASA’s Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms—otherwise known as THEMIS—mission to study the activities of Earth’s magnetosphere that lead to spectacular events like the Northern Lights. Ulyssix is also providing satellite launch support for the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin Corporation and Boeing that offers launch services for the U.S. Government. In addition, Rosenthal notes that Ulyssix products are ideal for the private space industry and is looking forward to expanding the company’s reach into this developing field. “Our products are 100-percent compatible with these efforts,” he says.

The TarsusPCM board—enhanced through Ulyssix’s partnership with NASA—translates raw telemetry data into understandable measurements for engineer analysis, playing an essential role in satellite launch and ground support, as well as the testing of remote-controlled drones and jet engines.
The Tarsus line is one of several offered by the company, each named for anatomical parts of the company’s symbol, the bald eagle. (The tarsus is part of the eagle’s leg; the company’s Syrinx line is named for the eagle’s vocal cords, the Hallux line for the eagle’s opposing toe, and the Talon line for the eagle’s claws.) Ulyssix’s products have not only benefitted from NASA’s technical assistance, but from their association with the Agency.

“Having the credentials of NASA behind my products has been a great reference,” says Rosenthal.

Ulyssix’s partnership with NASA promises to encourage future evolution of its products and capabilities: The company’s processing hardware is supporting special testing of the space shuttles to help with the progress of the Constellation Program. This includes interpreting data from seat sensors to determine the different forces impacting the astronauts during launch—data that will help with the development of the Orion capsule, the space shuttle’s eventual successor. Rosenthal expects Ulyssix will continue to advance its telemetry expertise in support of the Constellation Program.

“Rather than just supporting space shuttle launches, our equipment is helping enable this research going forward,” he says. “Our hardware is helping build a bridge between the shuttle and Constellation.” As more aerospace companies incorporate the TarsusPCM into their efforts, it seems likely that Ulyssix’s technology will provide a bridge to future commercial aerospace endeavors, as well.

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