The PK-4 Control & Video Unit during on-orbit installation. (ESA/ROSCOSMOS)

GE Intelligent Platforms
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Two CR11 single-board computers (SBCs) from GE Energy Management’s Intelligent Platforms were deployed and are fully operational onboard the International Space Station (ISS) as part of continuing experiments by the European Space Agency (ESA).

The CR11 is at the heart of the supporting infrastructure of ESA’s Plasma Kristall-4 (PK-4) research missions. Two CR11s are integrated in the Control & Video Unit that was installed within a host rack known as the European Physiology Module (EPM). PK-4 is a permanent installation by ESA within the European Columbus research module onboard the ISS, and is designed to conduct experiments on the complex plasmas in space. For PK-4, the CR11s are utilized to execute the scientific script, record high volumes of video (130 Mbytes/sec) and housekeeping data, and display experiment video.

The PK-4 Commissioning Experiment in June 2015. (NASA/ESA)
The CR11 is a 6U, CompactPCI single-board computer featuring an Intel® Core™ Duo Processor. It is specifically designed to withstand the rigors of deployment in harsh environments like the International Space Station. It is available with conduction cooling and extended temperature range of -40 to +80° C, while increased shock and vibration immunity is designed in by using optional stiffener bars and wedge locks.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the November, 2015 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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