What kind of a computer does the spacecraft use on-board?

The 'Central Instrument Data Processor' or CIDP, consists of a RAD-6000SC central processor with a 250 megabyte solid-state memory. Is is based on a special-purpose, flight computer developed by Southwest Research Institute for the CSAT commercial communications satellite program. It is a 32-bit, Reduced Instruction Set ( RISC) CPU, radiation hardened and capable of 25 million instructions per second.

The computer will provide instrument data acquisition, compression and storage. It will provide some on-board data processing, up-link command processing, formatting of data for telemetry to Earth, and monitor the status and health of all satellite sub-systems. Instrument data is transmitted over an RS-485 serial communication line on the satellite. The solid-state memory capacity is enough to store the projected 28 kilobits/sec of data generated by the instruments during each daily observation session.


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