NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory received delivery of seven flight-level Single Board Computers (SBCs) for use in the space agency’s Sun Radio Interferometer Space Experiment, or SunRISE.
These computers are supplied by San Diego-based Space Micro Inc., a division of Voyager Space, Inc.
SunRISE, slated for launch in 2024-2025, will collect data obtained by a small satellite array to help scientists better understand how the Sun generates and releases solar particle storms into space and how these storms influence the interplanetary environment.
JPL said SunRISE relies on six solar-powered CubeSats – each about the size of an oven toaster – to simultaneously observe radio images of low-frequency emission from solar activity and share them via NASA’s Deep Space Network. The constellation of CubeSats will fly within six miles of each other above Earth’s atmosphere, which would otherwise block the radio signals.
Together, the six CubeSats will create 3D maps to pinpoint where giant particle bursts originate on the Sun and how they evolve as they expand outward into space. This, in turn, will help determine what initiates and accelerates these giant jets of radiation.
The six individual spacecraft will also work together to map, for the first time, the pattern of magnetic field lines reaching from the Sun out into interplanetary space.
A Space Micro statement said their Single Board Computers will contribute to the mission by performing on-board data processing.
“Space Micro is honored to be part of the SunRISE team and contribute technology to this innovative mission,” David J. Strobel, Executive Chair of Space Micro, said. “This mission expands upon our collaboration with JPL, being the third JPL mission that our team has supported. JPL continues to dare mighty things and we look forward to seeing what the team develops next.”
Space Micro has also supplied space processors for multiple U.S and international civil and national security space programs, with some processors still operating in orbit over a decade after launch.
JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, manages SunRISE for NASA. For more information about the mission, visit www.jpl.nasa.gov/missions/sun-radio-interferometer-space-experiment.