Boeing, partners check TSAT plan chip

April 11, 2008 at 6:38 AM
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ST. LOUIS, April 11 (UPI) -- Boeing says the electronics for its new TSAT military communications satellite have been tested.

Boeing said in a statement Wednesday that with its TEAM TSAT industry partners it had tested the advanced electronics to be installed on the Transformational Satellite Communications System.

The company said the TSAT Application Specific Integrated Circuit microchip had been checked out for their "functionality, speed and suitability for space flight." It said the checks were conducted in late 2007 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, and that they including bombarding the equipment with the worst radiation it was projected to have to endure in orbit.

"The success of these tests emphasizes TEAM TSAT's strategy of transitioning proven operational terrestrial technology to space," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.

"This accomplishment demonstrates TEAM TSAT's world-class engineering and our commitment to designing and delivering solutions that fully meet the U.S. Air Force's requirements," Cooning said.

Boeing called the procedures risk-reduction tests and said they were the culmination of over a decade of cooperation between itself and IBM. It said TSAT ASIC microchip was "the fourth generation of IBM terrestrial ASIC technology qualified for space use."

The first generation of such microchips were installed in 2001 in a Boeing-built satellite-based mobile communications system, the company said.

"IBM has a strong history of positive investments in the field of microelectronics," said Anthony Yu, vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "This renowned expertise and commitment to research and development has been a cornerstone in our collaboration with Boeing over the past decade and complements our drive for innovative products and services."

Boeing' said its TEAM TSAT involved Cisco Systems, Hughes, IBM, Harris Corp., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., LGS Innovations, Raytheon, General Dynamics C4 Systems, L-3 Communications, BBN Technologies, EMS Technologies, SAIC and Innovative Communications Engineering. The team presented its TSAT Space Segment proposal to the U.S. Air Force on July 30, 2007. The USAF will make its decision on to whom it will award the multibillion-dollar contract later this year.

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