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 redundant are Orion's power and data units (PDUs)? Doubly? Quadruply? If so, why?

In the news today: NASA to skip repair of Orion electronics unit NASA will fly Orion deep-space crew capsule ‘as is,’ despite failed component; The agency claims there is enough redundancy in the ...
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What is the bandwidth (in hertz) of the Voyager 2 radio receiver?

Does anybody know the bandwidth of the Voyager 2 radio receiver's front-end? I know that the current data rate of the receiver is of order tens of bits per second, and I have one estimate of 18 Hz. ...
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Is it common and good engineering for a pair of cables to be easily plugged into each other's connectors in modern spacecraft, or

Space News's Human error blamed for Vega launch failure Analysis of the telemetry from the mission, along with data from the production of the vehicle, led them to conclude that cables to two thrust ...
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Vacuum tube microchips for Venus probe; feasibility and challenges?

Venus surface temperature is around 460C which makes conventional semiconductors useless. So nasa proposed a clockwork rover, drawing power from wind and using springs and gears to navigate the ...
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What coatings are used for printed circuit board protection in space?

Which coatings are better for printed circuit board (PCB) protection in space environment?
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First LED left on another planet⁺ by humans?

Light Emitting Diodes or LEDs are ubiquitous now, but I still remember riding my bike to Radio Shack and buying my first LED, checking the diagram on the back of the package, and getting a battery and ...
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Highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced in space?

Comments on the page Maximum grid voltage of ion thruster got me wondering; what is the highest DC voltage ever intentionally produced by a spacecraft in space? Photomultiplier tubes and micro-channel ...
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Semi-feasible alternates to silicon electronics for a Von Neumann Probe?

Disclaimer: this is a modified cross-post of my post on the Worldbuilding SE site, adapted to better fit the Space Exploration community. Some background A Von Neumann Probe (VNP) is a sci-fi probe ...
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Rocket Engine - Actuator in Loop Simulations

For Actuator-In-Loop simulations, why are the rocket engine nozzles along with the thrust vector control assembly (including the actuators) kept inverted on a platform like in the attached image or as ...
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Why was 65 volts used for ground support equipment?

This article claims that Apollo ground support equipment used 65 V for electrical power, and may have been involved with the cause of the Apollo 13 explosion: The oxygen tanks had originally been ...
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Using recent technology, how much electrical power could a nuclear reactor launchable by a low-level heavy-lift vehicle be developed to produce?

The main purpose behind asking this question is to ascertain the potential power-to-weight ratio of reactors built using modern-derivative technology (i.e. either Generation III derivatives or ...
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How many “main” batteries does the ISS have? How many are still nickel-hydrogen?

CBS News's Third all-female spacewalk completes job of swapping out batteries says: NASA is in the process of replacing 48 older-generation nickel-hydrogen batteries in the station's solar power ...
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Are the Electronic Tools used in the ISS and in the NBL same or different?

Most of the time, we see astronauts carrying electronic tools like power drills during an EVA. They undergo training in the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) for the same. Are the electronic tools used in ...
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Which type of Power Plug do we use on the ISS?

The following map shows the different types of power plugs and sockets used by countries all over the world: The International Space Station (ISS) is a joint project between five participating space ...
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What form of Electric Current Powers Spacecrafts - Alternating Current (AC) or Direct Current (DC)?

Almost all spacecrafts launched by humanity consist of electrical components which require electricity to run. Usually, spacecrafts are either powered by a Solar Panel or using Radioisotope ...
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How are differences in electrical potential between docking (or berthing) vehicles mitigated?

Different vehicles can have several hundred or even several thousand volts difference between their baseline electrical potentials. How do they ensure that upon first contact, there isn't a massive ...
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How are astronauts in the ISS protected from electric shock?

On Earth, most of the electrical appliances having exposed metal parts, such as electric iron, are grounded, to protect the user from electric shock when an uninsulated-wire accidentally comes into ...
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How does Deep Space Network's DSS-14 transmit radar and receive it at (almost) the same time? (monostatic radar)

@Hobbes' concise yet thorough answer to the question What are monostatic radar observations, and how will Deep Space Network's DSS-13 be used to observe asteroid 1999 WK4's flyby of Earth? tells us ...
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How are electrical connectors on the ISS protected from humidity and contaminants?

Early concepts of Apollo had a single computer that was to be unplugged and moved between the CM and LM. This idea was soon abandoned because of contaminant buildup in the connectors: Electrical ...
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Are all DC motors on the inside of the ISS brushless?

Considering the number of motors on the ISS used in pumps, fans, actuators and robots, are there rules against brushed motors, motors with electrical brushes which can make particulate matter? Based ...
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What are the ISS's eight “power channels”? How do they work?

c|net's NASA troubleshoots mysterious ISS power issue links to the NASA Blog post Crew Waits for Dragon Mission While Teams Troubleshoot Power Issue which says: Monday morning, teams identified an ...
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How does electrical safety system work on ISS?

Is there any possibility that the power consumption is greater than power supply on ISS? What happens (or potentially would happen) if we plug too many electric devices so that ISS couldn't handle it? ...
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Why latest Landsat satellites have solar panel on only one side?

It is normal for satellites to have solar panels on both sides of the body. But Landsat satellites, from Landsat 4, seems to have the solar panel on only one side. Are there any specific advantages ...
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Is it possible to protect a Cubesat's electronics from 100g of acceleration?

I am currently researching the feasibility of setting up a coilgun that launches Cubesats for a paper. 1 cubesat per launch total payload mass <100kg.
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How are cubesat electronics protected against the effects of radiation in LEO?

I'm curious to know the various ways that cubesat electronics can be protected from the effects of cosmic rays or solar events while in LEO. How different are the components used in cubesats from some ...
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Function and nature of the RHC/LCH pair of cables to New Horizons's dish antenna secondary mirror?

Spaceflight 101's New Horizons Spacecraft Overview is full of interesting information and shows this RF Comm System Block Diagram. The thin (red) lines to the dish antenna area are coaxial cables and ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The first transistors in space: Germanium or Silicon? What about in orbit?

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 technology ...