Press Release

BAE SYSTEMS Microprocessors Reach Saturn aboard Cassini

By SpaceRef Editor
July 12, 2004
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After a nearly
seven-year, 2.2 billion-mile journey, BAE Systems radiation-hardened
microprocessors reached Saturn June 30 onboard the international
Cassini-Huygens spacecraft.

Cassini, launched October 15, 1997, will conduct a four-year study
of Saturn. Twelve scientific instruments on the Cassini orbiter will
gather information on Saturn’s rings, icy satellites, the Saturnian
magnetosphere, and Titan, the planet’s largest moon.

BAE Systems Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) built
the seven Advanced Spaceborne Computer Module (ASCM) microprocessors
onboard Cassini. The microprocessors operate in the heavily radiated
space environment and are based on the Military Standard 1750
microprocessor. The seven computers handle command and control of the
spacecraft and provide processing for several instruments.

“For nearly seven years, we’ve been closely following Cassini’s
progress across the solar system,” said Vic Scuderi, BAE Systems
manager of space programs in Manassas, Va. “BAE Systems is honored to
be part of this mission and are proud that NASA chose our ASCM
microprocessor to be used on six of the 12 instruments.”

BAE Systems worked with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create the
radiation-hardened version of the microprocessor. Nearly 200 ASCM
microprocessors are in orbit today serving commercial
telecommunications, military, and research and exploration programs.

The ASCM microprocessor is one of a family of radiation-hardened
computers developed and produced by BAE Systems with support of JPL
and the AFRL. The ASCM and RAD6000 computers can be found on more than
100 satellites in space. The newest member of the processor family,
the RAD750, will be used on the Deep Impact mission to be launched
later this year.

BAE Systems is an international company engaged in the
development, delivery, and support of advanced defense and aerospace
systems in the air, on land, at sea, and in space. BAE Systems
Information & Electronic Warfare Systems is a major producer of
aircraft self-protection systems and tactical surveillance and
intelligence systems for all branches of the armed forces.

BAE Systems, innovating for a safer world.

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SpaceRef staff editor.