Two years ago, TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space announced they were working together to develop TTEthernet equipment for deep space. After being successful on the market and closing the first contracts within the NASA Artemis program, TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space strengthened their commitment to jointly develop space products with a formal teaming agreement closed in June 2021.
“TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space are partnering using their complementary strengths, with TTTech Aerospace as a technology leader in safety-critical communication platforms and RUAG Space with its three decades of experience in designing and manufacturing space-qualified equipment. This partnership allows us to design and produce high-tech TTEthernet® equipment for the use in extremely harsh space environments like the moon orbit,” says Christian Fidi, Senior Vice President Business Unit Aerospace at TTTech. “We are proud to work together with RUAG Space and their highly skilled and competent space electronics team to deliver high-quality products and services to our customers so they can achieve their ambitious goals successfully.” The tight cooperation of 10 years between TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space includes research programs like the European Space Agency’s Future Launchers Preparatory Programme and the standardization of the Time-Triggered Ethernet protocol for space.
First equipment delivered in July
TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space have been chosen to deliver TTEthernet® network and computing platforms for two of NASA’s prime contractors for the lunar Gateway, Maxar Technologies (Power and Propulsion Element – PPE) and Northrop Grumman (Habitation and Logistics Module – HALO). The first form-fit and functional equipment delivered in July by TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space allows the customers to start early development on flight-like equipment now and will ensure a seamless integration towards the flight products.
“Gateway is currently planned with seven modules. We are already part of two modules and we have good chances to deliver our products to the other five modules as well. That is a huge business opportunity. We are very well positioned to support Gateway and the ARTEMIS mission and beyond,” says Andreas Buhl, Country Manager of RUAG Space Austria.
Groundbreaking technology for the space market
In 2019, TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space began to jointly develop commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) TTEthernet network products for next generation avionics network and computing platforms. These cards are based on the 3U cPCI form factor and enable a highly modular configuration of the 3U cPCI compatible Avionics Hosting Unit from TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space. The open 3U cPCI industry standard together with IASIS (“International Avionics System Interoperability Standards”) enables highly modular architectures for a wide variety of deep space applications.
Andreas Buhl explains how the joint solutions from TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space bring value to the market, “Space electronics need to comply with the highest quality standards. Customers benefit from off-the-shelf hardware solutions that use open standards as they help reduce time-to-market and system complexity and therefore perfectly serve the requirements of NASA’s space programs.”
Christian Fidi highlights the safety and flexibility of the COTS solutions: “We can offer proven technology for safety-critical applications. Our network and computing platforms are a groundbreaking new offering, allowing customers to integrate their safety-critical applications more efficiently and therefore meet their timelines and cost targets. Our new COTS products dramatically increase the capabilities and reduce the complexity of deep space avionics systems for a wide variety of applications. Furthermore, the modular open system architecture from TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space enables customers to meet the ever-increasing demand for processing and computing powers over many years of service.”
TTTech Aerospace and RUAG Space both have offices in the US to provide direct technical interfaces for their customers. RUAG Space’s electronics and customer service team is based in Denver, Colorado. TTTech North America supports the above-mentioned space projects with its experts from its office in Houston, Texas, close to the Gateway integration center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center.