Author Topic: LIVE: Orbital Antares/Cygnus ORB-D LAUNCH DAY and FD1+ Updates  (Read 68634 times)

Offline antonioe

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A little bit off thread, but here it comes:

Taurus, Minotaur and Antares all use a Hardware AND SOFTWARE architecture Orbital calls MACH (Modular Avionics something or other, pardon me, I have little patience for that stuff...) made up of about a dozen types of "slices" (computer, I/O, power supply, ordnance drives, etc. etc.) that can be stacked up in an enclosureless-type way (i.e. each slice has its own peripheral enclosure and the ends are closed up by plates) I've seen MACH stacks as small as 5 slices and as large as 11, IIRC.  Intra-slice connections are built into the "sides" of each slice, and external connectors are on one of the sides of each slice.  The result looks a lot like a loaf of sliced brad.

Each of the above-mentioned launch vehicles has a number of differently-configured MACH "stacks" acting as the central avionics, stage remote I/O, engine controller, etc.  Slices (and stacks) communicate via Ethernet.  Indeed, a MACH stack is used in the Antares launch pad both to communicate with the rocket AND control the pad (e.g. TEL retraction after ignition.)

Pegasus used an older design but is slowly converting to the MACH architecture (the last two Pegasi flew a MAC stack as its flight computer - the resulting change in software made NASA pause and take a deep breath, but it was the right thing to do and it worked.)

More important, other Orbital products (e.g. targets) also use this architecture; the result is a) lots and lots of experience (dozens of MACH stacks and socres of MACH slices are flown every year) and b) non-trivial cost reductions.  Similar benefit with software: the amount of NEW software needed for Antares was focused on the liquid propellant elements while, for instance, the basic GN&C has long heritage (yes, even the variable-azimuth feature!...)

The MACH architecture is uniquely designed for Launch Vehicles and is not intended to be used on spacecraft, BTW.
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Offline kevin-rf

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Thanks for the avionics update, sounds a lot like the PC-104 stackable phylosophy.
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Offline robertross

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A little bit off thread, but here it comes:

Taurus, Minotaur and Antares all use a Hardware AND SOFTWARE architecture Orbital calls MACH (Modular Avionics something or other, pardon me, I have little patience for that stuff...)


Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) System

Neat explanation, thanks.
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Offline dcporter

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A little bit off thread, but here it comes:

Taurus, Minotaur and Antares all use a Hardware AND SOFTWARE architecture Orbital calls MACH (Modular Avionics something or other, pardon me, I have little patience for that stuff...)


Modular Avionics Control Hardware (MACH) System

Neat explanation, thanks.

Agreed! More discussion here. http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=32903.0

Online Chris Bergin

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New thread late tonight.
« Last Edit: 09/21/2013 04:02 PM by Chris Bergin »

Online Chris Bergin

« Last Edit: 09/22/2013 12:30 AM by Chris Bergin »

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