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Electronics systems for space missions have often been highly constrained by weight and power as well as performance. This led to highly customized designs for most missions. With the advent of the Shuttle launch vehicle and spacecraft, and the Spacelab concept in the late 1970' s, it will be possible to fly payloads of several very large experiments for periods of 7 to 30 days. For such experiments weighing several thousand Kg, ~100 Kg of supporting electronics is quite acceptable and this weight is adequate to acomplish the design in NIM and CAMAC for a large variety of experiments. Power consumption is a problem both from the point of view of sizing of the fuel cells and thermal consequences. Several studies are now underway on reducing this power consumption and the outlook is promising. The motivation for the usage of NIM and CAMAC on Shuttle is not only convenience to the experimenter, but a substantial cost savings originally, and still more in the future as the modules are reconfigured for yet another experiment.
Date of Publication: Feb. 1975