A trio of space computers from BAE Systems has taken flight aboard a NASA satellite to study the sun's influence on Earth and the space around Earth. The firm's RAD750 and RAD6000 computers are being used to process data for NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in the high-radiation solar environment. Two RAD6000 computers will process data while a RAD750 will run the software that keeps the spacecraft in orbit.
Vic Scuderi, Manager of Satellite Electronics for BAE Systems, notes "This is a unique mission that requires a high tolerance to the extreme conditions encountered near the sun. Our space computers were chosen because they have the flight heritage that shows they thrive in such conditions. The images provided by the SDO will have 10 times better resolution than high-definition television." This is the first mission to be launched for NASA's "Living With a Star" program. SDO will study solar activity and how it influences space weather. The program will perform measurements on the interior of the sun, the sun's magnetic field, the hot plasma of the solar corona, and the irradiance that creates the ionospheres of the planets to help scientists predict solar variations.