Beyond Gravity in Switzerland is to supply its constellation On Board Computer (cOBC) to Quantum Space’s inaugural flight of its Ranger multi-purpose vehicle.
Ranger will take payloads to geostationary and orbits around the Moon, or cislunar orbits and will use software from startup RocketLabs.
The cOBC computer provides a host of functions including on-board processing, Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver, ground communication as well as both platform and payload interfaces. In-space computing through the cOBC allows Ranger to process data and imagery more efficiently and comprehensively. The computer is fully redundant and offers flight-proven fault detection, isolation, and recovery (FDIR) as well as radiation mitigation to provide a highly reliable solution.
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“This will be the first time that our constellation On Board Computer flies around the moon,” said Thomas Badinand, sales manager, Beyond Gravity. “We are seeing high demand in the market for the cOBC from both large primes and newer players. The computer is entirely based on commercial components, which results in much lower cost, shorter lead times, and higher performance.”
The cOBC is the central command and data handling unit designed for small to large satellites and available for very small to very large quantities. The cOBC for Ranger includes the MAX software suite from Rocket Lab, which is a comprehensive toolset including flight software, ground segment, and simulation. The cOBC is now being offered with the MAX flight software suite in collaboration with Rocket Lab as a standard offering.
“As Quantum Space continues to develop missions for GEO (geostationary Earth orbit) and cislunar space where independence from ground communications becomes more challenging, the need for robust and dependable avionics is paramount,” said Ben Reed, chief technology officer, Quantum Space. “Beyond Gravity has risen to this challenge with the development of its competitive, radiation-hardened, and reliable on-board computing technology.”
The flight model of the on board computer will be delivered to Quantum Space in mid-2024.