- Press Release
- Feb 7, 2023
Maxwell Technologies Wins $3 Million Contract From Astrium Satellites to Supply Computers for European Space Agency’s ‘Gaia’ Astronomy Mission
Maxwell SCS750 Single Board Computers Will Process Data and Images Gathered by Satellite’s Video Processing Units During Five-Year Mission to Study the Origin and Evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy
Maxwell Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL – News) has won a contract valued at approximately $3 million from Astrium’s United Kingdom-based satellite unit to supply single board computers (SBC) for the European Space Agency’s (ESA) “Gaia” astronomy mission to survey more than a billion stars and other celestial bodies to trace the origin and evolution of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Seven Maxwell SCS750 SBCs will process images and data gathered by the two-ton satellite’s camera, which will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the duration of the five-year mission named for the Greek goddess Gaia, who was worshipped as the mythological creator of the universe. The massive volume of data to be collected and the precision of the imaging instrumentation will enable scientists to create a three-dimensional map of the galaxy and study its formation with unprecedented detail and accuracy.
The satellite will be launched into an orbit at Lagrange point 2, which is 1.5 million kilometers (932,000 miles) into space on the “night side” of Earth so that it will be shielded from glare from the Earth, Sun and Moon that otherwise would interfere with image and data collection. Its payload will include two telescopes and a camera capable of processing digital images from more than one hundred charge-coupled devices (CCDs) of 10 million pixels each.
It is the belief of the European Space Agency that the Gaia mission’s impact on astronomy will be comparable to that of weather satellites to meteorology or genome mapping projects to genetics. Maxwell’s space computer provides the high performance and flexibility the scientific and engineering team will need to achieve the mission’s ambitious goals.
Peter Bennie, Project Team Leader of Astrium UK, which is responsible for development and installation of the satellite’s video processing units, said, “we selected Maxwell’s SCS750 after our exhaustive evaluation of available space-qualified computers determined that it was the only SBC that could meet both our video processing requirements and Gaia’s power and mass constraints.”
Proprietary component shielding technology and system-level architecture enable Maxwell’s SBC to withstand the effects of environmental radiation to provide the most reliable space computer currently available. The SCS750 is based on a “triple modular redundancy” architecture in which three commercial IBM PowerPC 750(TM) processors run the same program at all times and “vote” on each operation. If one of the processors suffers a radiation-induced upset and disagrees with the other two, the system is automatically resynchronised and resumes error-free operation.
About ESA: The European Space Agency (ESA), is an inter-governmental organization with a mission to provide for and to promote space science, research and technology and to plan and develop space applications, for the benefit of its member states. Its mandate is limited to activities of peaceful nature.
About Astrium: EADS Astrium, a wholly owned subsidiary of EADS, is dedicated to providing civil and defence space systems and services. In 2006, EADS Astrium had a turnover of 3.2 billion euros and 11,000 employees in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands. Its three main areas of activity are: the business units Astrium Space Transportation for launchers and orbital infrastructure, and Astrium Satellites for spacecraft and ground segment, and its wholly owned subsidiary Astrium Services for the development and delivery of satellite services.
About Maxwell: Maxwell is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative, cost-effective energy storage and power delivery solutions. Our radiation-mitigated microelectronic products include power modules, memory modules and single board computers that incorporate powerful commercial silicon for superior performance and high reliability in aerospace applications. Our BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitor cells and multi-cell modules provide safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial electronics, transportation and telecommunications. Our CONDIS® high-voltage grading and coupling capacitors help to ensure the safety and reliability of electric utility infrastructure and other applications involving transport, distribution and measurement of high-voltage electrical energy. For more information, please visit our website: http://www.maxwell.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: Statements in this news release that are “forward-looking statements” are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially because of factors such as:
— development and acceptance of products based on new technologies;
— demand for original equipment manufacturers’ products reaching anticipated levels;
— general economic conditions in the markets served by the company’s products;
— cost-effective manufacturing of new products;
— the impact of competitive products and pricing;
— risks and uncertainties involved in foreign operations, including the impact of currency fluctuations;
— product liability or warranty claims in excess of our reserves.
For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Maxwell’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of our SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, copies of which may be obtained by contacting Maxwell’s investor relations department at (858) 503-3434 or at our investor relations website at http://www.maxwell.com/investors/sec-filing.asp . All information in this release is as of October 1, 2007. The company undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statement to conform the statement to actual results or changes in the company’s expectations.