CubeSats are miniaturized satellites in a 10cm cube form-factor that are becoming enormously popular due to the benefits of standardization. The standards were originally driven by academia but have now been widely adopted for commercial and government projects.
The concept of the CubeSat was to lower project costs and accept that risks of failure would be higher. Now that the technology is maturing, there has been much discussion about reducing these risks to improve the success rate of CubeSat missions.
A popular approach that has been used to increase the likelihood of mission success is to selectively use radiation-hardened components in the electronics design. The rad-hard VORAGO Technologies Arm-Cortex M0 based VA10820 microcontroller has been used for this purpose. Allocating a few hundred dollars for a rad-hard controller to keep the CubeSat operational in orbit is considered a very low price to pay compared to the overall project cost.
To help CubeSat developers design-in the VA10820, VORAGO Technologies has developed a CubeSat On-Board-Computer (OBC) board that uses the microcontroller along with rad-hard memories, LDOs and an analog-to-digital converter. The board is compatible with the Pumpkin CubeSat Kit Bus so that it will plug-and-play with other standardized CubeSat boards.
Although the board will shortly be available to order, the design files are also available upon request so that the basic design can be easily modified for different mission requirements. For more information, visit RH-OBC-1 – Radiation Hardened OBC / C & DH Board and Reference Design Kit on the VORAGO Technologies website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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