Flight data recorder will go up with NASA's Dream Chaser to ISS

HAYWARD, Calif. Data-storage firm Ampex Data Systems -- a wholly owned subsidiary of communications provider Delta Information Systems -- has garnered a contract from space-component maker Sierra Nevada Corporation to provide a rugged flight multifunction data recorder (MDR) for the Sierra Nevada spacecraft cargo system.

Sierra Nevada is building the Dream Chaser space plane to carry cargo to the (ISS) as part of the agency's Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) program. Under the NASA deal, Sierra Nevada is tasked with flying six uncrewed cargo delivery flights for the space agency between 2020 and 2024. The spacecraft will launch into orbit atop an Atlas V rocket built by the United Launch Alliance.

The that will fly on the Dream Chaser, the Model TS540, is a radiation-tolerant enhanced solid-state recorder that will be used for onboard recording during the craft's journey to and from the ISS. Ampex documents describe the TS540 as a standardized, rugged, pluggable processing module that integrates the CPU with memory and I/O interfaces such as mini-PCI Express, XMC, USB, Ethernet, and serial ports. The design enables expansion and adaptation of the platform and gives designers options such as MIL-STD-1553 control and GPS time synchronization.

For additional information on the Dream Chaser and its path to carrying cargo to the ISS, click here.

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