Recently we received the confirmation about a very special product order – one that has taken several years of discussion and patience to come to realization. Our US customer has informed us that they have selected TechSAT’s Configurable Data Loading Engine (CDLE) target code package to fly on the Lockheed-Martin/ESA Orion spacecraft built for NASA. At this point in NASA mission planning, this is the spaceship that will take man to Mars.
Orion is the NASA follow-on replacement for both the space shuttle for low earth orbit missions and the vehicle pathway to lunar and interplanetary missions. Our customer is supplying the Orion navigation avionics and the Command and Data Handling System. The CDLE will be implemented as the data loading engine for this space avionics suite. Thus, a little piece of TechSAT makes a trip to Mars, a unique milestone in man’s exploration of space.
The ARINC 665/615A CDLE was the first code product developed by TechSAT in North America. Our support engineer coded it in 2006 for use in the avionics for the Boeing 787, but an Airbus project used it first. The CDLE was created to be an “off-the-shelf” code package for easy integration of a data loading capability in new and legacy avionics design.
Today, the CDLE product family is integrated into systems manufactured by over 25 major avionics suppliers and can be found in over 6000+ flying avionics hardware installations on every Airbus and Boeing large commercial transport-type flying.
The “C” code version CDLE on Orion will be used to load data to various avionics suite components as supplied by our customer. Their Orion avionics system is based on the 787 version of their Integrated Modular Avionics (IMA) system. The CDLE was chosen as an “off-the-shelf” solution in keeping with Orion’s mission theme of “affordable, sustainable, and realistic” requirements.
Nearer-term Orion missions include a manned moon fly-around (as soon as 2019), a comet capture and visit, and a manned lunar landing (man’s return to the surface of the moon). The Mars exploration is currently scheduled for 2031.
All very exciting – to be a small part of man’s first trip to another world!