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Proceedings Paper

Why advanced computing? The key to space-based operations
Author(s): Paul W. Phister; Igor Plonisch; Jack Mineo
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Paper Abstract

The 'what is the requirement?' aspect of advanced computing and how it relates to and supports Air Force space-based operations is a key issue. In support of the Air Force Space Command's five major mission areas (space control, force enhancement, force applications, space support and mission support), two-fifths of the requirements have associated stringent computing/size implications. The Air Force Research Laboratory's 'migration to space' concept will eventually shift Science and Technology (S&T) dollars from predominantly airborne systems to airborne-and-space related S&T areas. One challenging 'space' area is in the development of sophisticated on-board computing processes for the next generation smaller, cheaper satellite systems. These new space systems (called microsats or nanosats) could be as small as a softball, yet perform functions that are currently being done by large, vulnerable ground-based assets. The Joint Battlespace Infosphere (JBI) concept will be used to manage the overall process of space applications coupled with advancements in computing. The JBI can be defined as a globally interoperable information 'space' which aggregates, integrates, fuses, and intelligently disseminates all relevant battlespace knowledge to support effective decision-making at all echelons of a Joint Task Force (JTF). This paper explores a single theme -- on-board processing is the best avenue to take advantage of advancements in high-performance computing, high-density memories, communications, and re-programmable architecture technologies. The goal is to break away from 'no changes after launch' design to a more flexible design environment that can take advantage of changing space requirements and needs while the space vehicle is 'on orbit.'

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 November 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4109, Critical Technologies for the Future of Computing, (17 November 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.409211
Show Author Affiliations
Paul W. Phister, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Igor Plonisch, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Jack Mineo, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4109:
Critical Technologies for the Future of Computing
Sunny Bains; Leo J. Irakliotis, Editor(s)

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