CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Designing Computer Systems to Control Several Small Experiments in a Space Environment

Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

S. Rollins Guild

Committee Member

Gregory E. Simco

Committee Member

Raul Salazar

Abstract

The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate, design, and develop a computer system which is capable of controlling several small experiments in a space environment. The steps taken to design such a computer system included reviewing literature pertaining to computer architecture for space based computers and determining which architectures did support the necessary computing needs. Based on the literature review, a computer design and methodology was determined which is the basis for building a complete computer system. Seven experiments were interfaced to the computer system which was launched aboard the Space Shuttle "Discovery". After returning, the collected data shows the performance of this computer was satisfactory. Future research is needed in using modem computer structures to control experiments that will be subjected to longer durations in a space environment. This research would greatly enhance the scientific usability for small payloads within the International Space Station.

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