MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
Contact: John G. Watson
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEJune 10, 1998
NEW CENTER PROVIDES LEADERSHIP IN MICROELECTRONICS, MICROAVIONICS TECHNOLOGIES
A new center devoted to the development of miniaturized spacecraft
electronics and avionics of the future has been established at NASA's Jet
A ceremony dedicating a 465-square-meter (5,000-square-foot) facility
for the new Center for Integrated Space Microelectronics took place at JPL
on Friday, June 5. The facility will be used for the design, development,
rapid prototyping and integration of autonomous microsystems.
The NASA budget request issued in February has allocated $10 million to
the center for this fiscal year and $15 million per year for the next
several fiscal years.
"The center will lead the way in the development of what could be
called 'thinking' micro-spacecraft of the future," says Dr. Leon Alkalai,
who heads up the center. "The work that goes on at the center will be at
the very heart of space exploration for the 21st century."
The center's goal is leadership in integrated microsystems, advanced
space avionics and computing technologies for future deep space missions.
Its primary focus is the development of highly miniaturized, integrated and
autonomous space microsystems. These include such technologies as "systems
on a chip," advanced nanodevices and nanostructures, reconfigurable and
evolvable hardware, modular software and revolutionary computing
technologies for spacecraft control.
The center is part of NASA's Advanced Deep Space System Development
Program, also known as X2000, whose mandate is the delivery of new
generations of modular, multi-mission spacecraft buses to diverse NASA
programs. These include the New Millennium Program's Deep Space
4/Champollion mission and the Outer Planets Project's Europa Orbiter,
Pluto-Kuiper Express and Solar Probe.
The center's contributions will enable X2000's integrated,
miniaturized, autonomous spacecraft systems for deep space and
Earth-orbiting missions. The center will deliver X2000's avionics systems,
with the goal of developing breakthrough technologies for "avionics on a
chip" by integrating computer, telecommunications, navigation, power
management and sensor technologies into a single micro-unit by 2006.
The center will also contribute to each subsequent generation of X2000
spacecraft design, addressing such challenges as science payload
accommodation, avionics scalability, temperature control, power
constraints, propulsive capability and spacecraft autonomy.
Further information is available at
http://cism.jpl.nasa.gov/. JPL is
managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology.