Boeing Defense, Space & Security2008-04-08 19:26:50

Boeing and TEAM TSAT Confirm Readiness of Advanced Satellite Electronics

The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] and its TEAM TSAT industry partners have successfully demonstrated the readiness of the advanced electronics that will be used in the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT).

Tests of the TSAT Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) demonstrated the microchip's functionality, speed and suitability for spaceflight. The tests, completed in late 2007 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, simulated the most challenging radiation environment TSAT will experience during operation.

"The success of these tests emphasizes TEAM TSAT's strategy of transitioning proven operational terrestrial technology to space," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems. "This accomplishment demonstrates TEAM TSAT's world-class engineering and our commitment to designing and delivering solutions that fully meet the U.S. Air Force's requirements."

These successful risk-reduction tests are the result of more than 10 years of partnership between Boeing and IBM. The TSAT ASIC chip is the fourth generation of IBM terrestrial ASIC technology qualified for space use. The first appeared in 2001 in a Boeing-built satellite-based mobile communications system.

"IBM has a strong history of positive investments in the field of microelectronics," said Anthony Yu, vice president, IBM Systems & Technology Group. "This renowned expertise and commitment to research and development has been a cornerstone in our collaboration with Boeing over the past decade and complements our drive for innovative products and services."

TEAM TSAT used ASIC chip designs that represent the most challenging functions required of TSAT. The tests simulated the harsh environment of space with a cyclotron, a type of particle accelerator that accelerates electrons using a high-frequency alternating charge.

Boeing's TEAM TSAT consists of Cisco Systems, Hughes, IBM, Harris Corp., Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., LGS Innovations, Raytheon, General Dynamics C4 Systems, L-3 Communications, BBN Technologies, EMS Technologies, SAIC and Innovative Communications Engineering. The team submitted its TSAT Space Segment proposal to the Air Force on July 30, 2007. The Air Force is expected to announce the winner of the multibillion-dollar contract later this year.

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