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Cobham Processor on its way to the Moon

Posted 12 March 2019 · Add Comment

Cobham Gaisler's HiRel GR712RC processor was launched onboard the SpaceIL mission to the Moon last month.



Cobham Gaisler’s HiRel GR712RC processor was launched on 21 February 21, 2019 onboard the SpaceIL mission to the Moon. SpaceIL, an Israeli non-profit organization, assisted by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), has constructed the Beresheet lunar lander and launched it atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on February 21, 2019. Beresheet will take an energy-saving complex route and is expected to arrive in lunar orbit in early April and attempt a landing on April 11.

GR712RCThe GR712RC, a dual-core LEON3FT processor, is employed in the Beresheet mission computer and will manage all aspects of the journey and landing. The processor is based on Cobham Gaisler’s long heritage of LEON SPARC space-ready processor cores and on Ramon Chips’ unique radiation-tolerant silicon technology.

“Ramon Chips developed its RadSafe™ high-reliability silicon technology and applied it in the design of the GR712RC radiation tolerant processor, with demanding missions like Beresheet in mind,” said Prof Ran Ginosar, CEO, Ramon Chips. “SpaceIL’s young entrepreneurs were early adopters of the GR712RC processor and wrote software for it even before the silicon existed. We are confident that this achievement will lead to many more successful space enterprises benefiting from GR712RC.”

“Cobham congratulates the SpaceIL and IAI teams for the successful launch of the Beresheet lunar lander and wish them a successful landing on the Moon”, said Sandi Habinc, General Manager, Cobham Gaisler. "The GR712RC enables a high level of system integration by providing a multitude of interfaces. This, combined with the high computational power of two processor cores, makes it an attractive system-on-chip device with low power consumption that is easy to integrate in spacecraft platform and payload. Close collaboration with Ramon Chips during the GR712RC development resulted in an excellent product, now accepted world-wide as the solution of choice for many space missions.”

“The GR712RC processor forms the heart of the Beresheet onboard computer, providing the required processing power and interfaces to the other spacecraft subsystems, reducing the weight and power consumption that are both critical to this type of mission, while also providing the necessary reliability. All in one chip,” said Opher Doron, VP, General Manager Space Division, Israel Aerospace Industries. “These characteristics greatly simplified the design of the onboard computer and also of the surrounding subsystems on the lander.”

“When we started writing our application software, the GR712RC did not even exists. But the beauty of Cobham Gaisler owning and fully understanding their processor technology, is that they can offer very accurate prototypes and simulators to early adopters, allowing them to be productive with their software development right from the start,” said Dr. Ido Anteby, CEO, SpaceIL NGO. “This allowed us to get a head start with developing what is the most important aspect of any computer application, the actual software, without needing to worry that the final flight hardware would differ and invalidate our development efforts.”

 

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