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Converting from a lab experiment to a flight instrument

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3 Author(s)
Cox, B. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; Danesh, P. ; Konefat, E.H.

This paper describes Instrument Control Electronics (ICE) for the Starlight mission. The mission is a dual-spacecraft formation-flying Michelson interferometer designed to perform the first long-baseline optical interferometry in space. Starlight is planned for launch in late 2005, and will demonstrate enabling technologies in the areas of separated spacecraft control systems, precise optical pathlength control, and interspacecraft laser metrology, all of which are critical to the performance of future planned NASA missions such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder. The interferometer flight instrument is based on laboratory instrument that been developed over the past ten years. The flight instrument is planning maximum use of the developed hardware and software. There are many challenges in designing flight equivalent instrument electronics that are rugged, lower mass, lower power and reliable. This paper describes the methods, approaches and processes that are being used to design instrument electronics that will meet the project requirements for cost, mass, power and performance

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Aerospace Conference, 2001, IEEE Proceedings.  (Volume:4 )

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