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Questions tagged [electronics]

Can refer to both electrical devices and electrical power sources for said devices (batteries, generators, etc) on spacecraft or launch vehicles. Use in conjunction with a specific spacecraft or vehicle tag.

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How much wax is on the Moon? (Lunar Roving Vehicles)

I found the Cody's Lab videos from Scott Manley's video as described in this answer. Browsing through I learned from the first 30 seconds of Hot Wax Bottle? that the phase change of wax was used on ...
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Did any of Voyagers' receivers' front ends take advantage of the “cold of space” to lower noise?

Most of the Voyagers' electronics are kept warm by electrical heaters powered by their RTG's, and presumably protected by some amount of insulation from the "cold of space" which means loss of heat ...
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2answers
84 views

How did Syncom-3 achieve eight stages of frequency doubling? I only see seven in the block diagram

@BlueCoder's nice answer to Syncom-3 was the first geostationary satellite. Anyone know of a description of the onboard electronics? mentions that the the master oscillator was doubled eight times to ...
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1answer
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Syncom-3 was the first geostationary satellite. Anyone know of a description of the onboard electronics?

I am interested in any description of the electronics on Syncom-3, the first geostationary satellite. I've been able to find quite a bit of general information. There was a pair of 2 Watt TWTs and ...
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1answer
1k views

Soyuz MS spacecraft battery voltage?

This wikipedia page contains a sentence: A fifth 906V battery with 155 Ampere-hour capacity was added to support the increased energy consumption from the improved electronics. 906 V seems very ...
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3answers
136 views

Is there anything like a standard for maximum temperature for mission-critical electronics in spacecraft?

In addition to radiation, acceleration, and vibration, a launch vehicle can encounter excursions in temperature, and critical electronics for guidance and control should probably be resistant to ...
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1answer
43 views

The details about space probes and everything thats on-board and what controls them/tells them what to do? [closed]

I just was really curious about all the different electronics and everything that has to do with space probes and I couldn't find just one site telling me everything I wanted to know so if someone ...
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91 views

How would the antenna on a spacecraft in GEO be provided an electrical ground?

I would like to understand better what specifications or guidelines address the electrical grounding/Earthing a parabolic reflector Antenna in GEO to minimize the potential difference with respect to ...
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1answer
196 views

Why was the ISS' DC vacuum cleaner replaced with an AC version? Are there “wall sockets” throughout the ISS where it's plugged in?

The question Why did Apollo spacecraft use both AC and DC equipment? Still used in present and future designs? and especially the answer there reminded me of something I'd seen in the YouTube video ...
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2answers
103 views

Shock absorbing alternator possible for a rover?

Could replacing a Rovers struts (maybe a faster one that uses shock dampers in the future) with magnets similar to a shack flashlight but more heavier duty work well for recouping energy from movement ...
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3answers
184 views

Are the mountains of Venus of any help for us to explore the surface?

The circular orbit and small axial tilt results in no seasons, coupled with the well-known strong greenhouse that makes nights just as hot as days. As pressure gets lower by height, so does ...
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Earthing system in space?

On Earth, we have a good reason to deploy electric devices with an "Earthing system": this helps to avoid dangerous leak currents on surfaces. Now how is this solved on a spacecraft?
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1answer
175 views

What type of electrical wiring provides the longest life in space?

It sound like standard electrical wire as you would use in earth bound transportation would have a significantly shorter life in the vacuum of space. (See related Do plasticizers evaporate in space?) ...
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1answer
630 views

Why did Apollo spacecraft use both AC and DC equipment? Still used in present and future designs?

Why did the Apollo spacecraft use both DC and AC power, requiring heavy inverters? Was it impractical to design everything to run on DC power only? Why? Are both AC and DC power still used in present ...
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2answers
347 views

When was the last normal electron tube (valve) for electrical circuitry launched into space?

The answer to my question The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about LEO? actually addressed both the first Germanium and Silicon transistor. So now I've gotta ask about ...
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1answer
346 views

The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about LEO?

Certain people (me) will have hours of fun in the Transistor Museum website. Who can resist stuff like this: Historic Germanium Transistors; General Transistor/General Instrument (5MB pdf)? I found ...
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1answer
148 views

Is a spacecraft able to measure it's current electric charge in some way?

In this question, there is discussion of charge buildup on a spacecraft. Is it possible for a spacecraft to measure its own charge?
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1answer
140 views

Is there a space-certification procedure used by commercial spacecraft manufactures for electronic components?

For electronic components at the level of say electrolytic capacitors, ethernet connectors connectors, and possibly in the future fiber optic connectors/electrical signal interfaces are there well ...
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2answers
345 views

Kepler has 16 GB of memory. Is this DRAM?

I'm writing a book chapter about Kepler, both the man and the spacecraft. I can't find much about the computer system and memory. In particular, I'd like to know if the 16 GB memory is DRAM, since I ...
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2answers
395 views

If electronics are magnetic, how do they work in space? [closed]

Only earth has north/south poles. This is not found in space. How can electronics work outside our earth?
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6answers
900 views

Do electronics and mechanical components work in a vacuum or require a sealed controlled atmosphere?

I'm curious about the electronics and other instruments on Voyager and similar spacecraft. Are the electronic components kept in open vacuum or in a sealed atmosphere? I imagine cooling gets tricky ...
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1answer
189 views

If Juno will experience lower levels of radiation than Galileo did why it will fail so much faster?

In the section about Orbit and Environment the Wikipedia article about the Juno spacecraft says: In comparison, Juno will receive much lower levels of radiation than the Galileo orbiter at its ...
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2answers
304 views

how and why is image processing used on spacecrafts?

Electronics engineer here trying to dive into aviation and aerospace engineering. I was wondering which (advanced) image processing techniques are being used in satellites nowadays. And which purposes ...
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1answer
119 views

Magnetic Memory to Mars?

There seems to be (perhaps these?) a probe headed to Mars that has incorporated Magnetic Memory (MRAM) as an integral part of the mission. Is this a PR gimmick, or is MRAM actually the best ...
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0answers
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What level of radiation protection do electronics on the ISS or in LEO need?

The harsh radiation environment in space requires that electronics on spacecraft be "radiation hardened." However, the radiation environment in LEO is not as intense as say a spacecraft traveling ...
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What is the best introduction for those studying Single Event Upsets in spacecraft? [closed]

What is the best introduction for those interested in studying Single Event Effects, Upsets, and Latchups. I'm mainly interested in introductions for Electrical and Computer Engineers and designing ...
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2answers
519 views

Based on which aspects should the on-board computer microcontroller of a CubeSat be chosen?

I think most of the CubeSats have an ARM Cortex-M microcontroller. Like, e.g. CubeComputer or NanoMind. Why are the Cortex-M the most frequently used microcontrollers for On-Board Computers (OBC)? ...
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2answers
459 views

Sparking/arcing distance between two spacecraft?

What is the distance two spacecraft will spark/arc at in SSO? Eg if one has just launched and one has been there a long time (eg a 10-20kV worst case voltage difference). I think Paschen's Law is the ...
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9answers
6k views

Can you really use Arduino for a small spacecraft?

A group of Russian geeks intends to shoot a small vehicle to the moon, which is supposed to photograph the places of the Apollo landings. This will be the ultimate proof that people actually visited ...
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1answer
175 views

LV Telemetry links on the launch pad

Are electronic telemetry and control links (of TT&C - telemetry, tracking and control) to the launch vehicle incorporated into the launch pad umbilical lines and handed off at launch, or is it all ...
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2answers
312 views

What mitigation procedures are in place in space systems to prevent whisker growth?

It has been found (from missions like the Long Duration Exposure Facility, LDEF) that some metals, especially tin and cadmium in solders, used in space-electronics assemblies, form crystal whiskers ...
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1answer
583 views

For space-qualified electronic components, what is an “SCD”?

In terms of engineering documentation for space-qualified electronic components, what is an "SCD"? See, for example, page 6 of this document. Is an SCD a common document and does it apply to other (...
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1answer
544 views

How to test the impact of radiation on cubesat's electronics?

Is there a difference between the effect of different ionizing wavelengths on electronics? Can a medical accelerator be used for simulation of conditions a cubesat will be exposed to? If not what ...
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1answer
152 views

How common is resin/epoxy sealing of space-faring equipment nowadays?

In the olden days most of space-faring electronics would be embedded in resin. Hey, that's where the term "embedded software" comes from! That came with a number of advantages like pressure-proofing ...
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1answer
5k views

Operating system of New Horizons spacecraft

I've been doing some searching and I can find some technical details about the flight computer of the New Horizons spacecraft. What I've found is: It has a Mongoose-V 32-bit CPU (a radiation hardened ...
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2answers
166 views

Is it possible to make an Internet of Things device that works locally on Mars?

I know this is a weird question. I can't find a radiation hardened microcontroller (μC) that does Bluetooth Low Energy or even WiFi. Is there any reason this would not work on Mars, if a radiation ...
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1answer
426 views

Is the entire skin of a launch vehicle its electrical reference?

I'm thinking, specifically, of the Falcon 9, where I read from their specs that the entire structure is coated with an ESD-conductive paint. I was also under the impression that the launch vehicle's ...
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2answers
1k views

Why is 28 V a common nominal spacecraft bus voltage?

28 VDC is a super-common spacecraft bus voltage, and the linked article claims (unsourced) this has aircraft heritage. So is this a true claim and if so why was 28 V an aircraft standard? And ...
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3answers
346 views

Strategies for combating ESD and ground plane potential shifts on spacecraft charging?

What are some common design guidelines/practices to combat the electrical effects of spacecraft charging(e.g. ESD, ground plane shift). Is it to focus on more resilient parts, and reduce resistance/...
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2answers
1k views

Where does electrical power on a rocket come from?

Computers and telemetry all need electrical power, is this just stored in batteries? If so what type of batteries are used? How much electrical power does a modern rocket consume on normal LEO or GTO ...
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3answers
961 views

Space computing, general question

What type of computers are used (generally) in robotic ( i.e. space probes and rovers) vs human craft (such as the ISS, soyuz)? Subquestion: What kind of specs are important on computers to operate ...
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2answers
532 views

How does Rosetta “wake-up?”

Rosetta has been in hibernation mode for most of the last three years. As far as I am aware, "sleep" means using minimum resources since there is nothing for the probe to do during its long transfer ...
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1answer
703 views

Resilience to data transmission errors of the Juno spacecraft

What techniques have been employed for the Juno spacecraft to successfully transmit data packets back to Earth once she's in a polar orbit around Jupiter? Jupiter is a strong source of radio ...
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1answer
251 views

Does Juno use MPPT?

MPPT aka Maximum Power Point Tracking is an active mechanism to collect maximum power a PV cell may deliver. This is typically achieved by varying the resistive load connected to a cell. Juno will ...
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1answer
297 views

Are custom semiconductors used on board spacecraft/robots?

Spacecraft/robot are usually chock-a-block with instruments. These are usually devices with some electronics to them. These are probably semiconductor, or vacuum-tube devices - I may be wrong! ...
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1answer
407 views

What are the chances of getting struck by lightning while in Earth orbit?

Getting struck by lighting in Earths upper atmosphere is a real possibility. It is often found in the 100km range, and can reach 400 km (250 mi) in diameter. The ISS has an orbit of 400km, and as ...
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2answers
154 views

What shielding would be required to use commercial components in lunar exploration?

The processing power in current exploration rovers like the MER's RAD6000 (20Mhz) and Curiosity's RAD750 (200Mhz) is far below anything you would find in any mobile phone today. As far as I understand ...