“Aerospace Vehicle Scalable, Modular, and Reconfigurable Technologies to Bring Innovation and Affordability”
The Space Information Laboratories (SIL) Intelli-Avionics® technology is being developed, Space Qualified and manufactured to eliminate the Aerospace “Black Box Syndrome”. What is the Aerospace “Black Box Syndrome”, and why does it continue in many aerospace applications? In last few decades, many Aerospace companies designed and manufactured hardware/software engineering systems to meet a specific requirement but all of these systems did not have the virtues of being open, modular, stackable and reconfigurable (OMSR) to meet new and evolving requirements. Yes, they work but the cost is generally too high and not easily upgradable once they are manufactured for a specific application. In the current economic environment in the United States, reinventing Aerospace to eliminate the “Aerospace Black Box Syndrome” must become a system engineering challenge to all prime contractors and technology suppliers for use on current and future Aerospace vehicle systems. The Aerospace vehicles (missiles, launch vehicles, RLVs, and satellites) subsequently have many separate black boxes that cannot be upgraded without a complete redesign in many cases to meet additional engineering requirements. This unnecessary and costly reality in the DOD, NASA and Aerospace industry requires customers to pay for engineering redesign and full Space Qualification testing for each of the black boxes.
With great advancement in processor, communication, FPGA, digital signal processing, power and microwave electronics in the 21st century, the “Black Box Syndrome” paradigm in Aerospace can be changed so more advanced requirements can be accomplished with upgradeable and flexible engineering systems, thus greatly reducing unit cost (1/2) for development and life-cycle cost (1/10). There is no reason that the many black boxes being flown on Aerospace vehicles cannot also be consolidated into fewer black box units (C&DH, TT&C, Sensor and Power subsystems in Aerospace vehicles). By reducing the number black boxes that need to be Space qualified for future Aerospace vehicles, the engineering development and life cycle cost will be reduced greatly. This technical paper will highlight system engineering and design approaches to bring innovation and affordability for multiple Aerospace vehicles, and DOD/NASA Ranges (WR, ER, PMRF, NASA Wallops, etc.).