Time triggered Ethernet for space gateway

March 03, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
Time triggered Ethernet for space gateway
TTTech Aerospace in Austria is working with Maxar Technologies to supply its time triggered Ethernet network platform for the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) for NASA’s space Gateway. 

The PPE will provide power, maneuvering, attitude control and communications for the lunar orbiting outpost in space. The Gateway is a key part of NASA’s Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and next man on the Moon by 2024 and eventually enable future crewed missions to Mars. 

TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space will deliver the first equipment to Maxar in mid-2021.

“Space is also going Ethernet with NASA standardised on Deep Space interoperability standards ,” said Kurt Doppelbauer,  VP Strategic Sales and Business Development. “We’ve been working with NASA since 2000 to make this an open standard and we collaborate on the standard and compete on the products.”

“It takes a lot of expertise to implement the standard,” he said. “Our technology is based on ARINC-664 aerospace standard and then we added time triggered to it and so I say good luck to anyone who wants to make a product out of it and certify it.”

“We worked with STMicroelectronics ASIC that’s ITAR free for a rad-hard system on chip that we then package in plastic or ceramic for RUAG Space to provide complete modules and even boxes. This is what we are contracted by Maxar for the complete modules that they integrate for the PPE with NASA and ESA to be interchangeable at the box level with a 3U CPCI form factor. VPX might be more advanced but cPCI still prevails as you can use a chassis from another system and we are building a 3U CPCI switch and other systems, so it’s really a modular structure.”

The space hardware will be designed and produced in Vienna, Austria with RUAG for a a complete TTEthernet network with switches, network interface cards,  related software elements as well as network configuration tools.

Next: 3U compactPCI hosting unit 

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