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The new AP101S general-purpose computer (GPC) for the space shuttle

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1 Author(s)
Norman, P.G. ; IBM Federal Systems Division, Houston, TX

This paper describes the development of the new AP101S General-Purpose Computer (GPC) for the Space Shuttle Orbiter. The GPC is the primary data processing computer on-board the Shuttle. It controls and monitors spacecraft functions. In recent years, the requirements for expanding the Shuttle's capabilities have surpassed the capabilities of the current GPC, the AP101B. This upgrade necessity and expected longevity of the Space Shuttle program has given birth to the AP101S GPC. The AP101S evolved from a line of pipeline processors flexible enough to support the Space Shuttle requirements. It offers many features vital to the expected needs of the space program. This paper describes the design philosophy, methodology, primary features, and functionality of the AP101S. The testing and development, which led to the integration of the processor are also detailed. Finally, the application of using it on-board the Space Shuttle Orbiter is portrayed. Indeed, the AP101S is an integral part of an aggressive and expanding Space Shuttle program, and is one which will serve well into the future.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IEEE  (Volume:75 ,  Issue: 3 )