White Paper: Electronics & Computers

COTS in Space From Novelty to Necessity

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This is the perfect point in our industry to build out the next 10 years in space electronics, as the significant lowering of launch costs has enabled a boom in near-earth orbit (NEO) and low-earth orbit (LEO) space applications. Market reports show that up to 20,000 satellites may be launched in these orbits over the subsequent decade. Cost-effective COTS solutions have become a necessity to meet the budget, time to market and integration requirements mandated in these new application areas.

As the use of COTS in NEO and LEO grows, the industry needs clearly defined parameters to ensure these commercial components can still withstand the rigors of the space environment. A new 300 level qualification for space components has been designed to provide a standardized infrastructure to validate COTS-based components that will be used in real-world, deployed NEO and LEO space applications. This level bridges the gap between lower levels of ruggedization for in-development lab (100 level) and test flight (200 level) and the highest, and more costly, level for fully-qualified and validated components (500 level).

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