Aitech’s rad-tolerant S-A6640 small ethernet switch takes space communications to new heights
Aitech Systems, a leading provider of rugged boards and system level solutions for military, aerospace and space applications, now offers the space industry’s first standalone small form factor (SFF) Ethernet switch designed and tested for near earth orbit (NEO) and low Earth orbit (LEO) missions.
The new S-A6640 is a managed Ethernet Switch/Router with 12x1GE copper ports and uses IP and Ethernet protocols to help significantly improve communication speeds, while lowering costs and significantly improving time-to-market for small satellite constellations as well as manned missions.
Communication Hub of the Space Digital Backbone (DBB)
Designed with major components with a radiation pedigree, the S-A6640 can be easily installed in any NEO or LEO space mission with any target platform size and significantly lowers the risk of communication-related failures in space.
In addition to serving as the centerpiece of the Aitech Space Digital Backbone (DBB) architecture for LEO/NEO applications, the new switch operates as the main connectivity hub for any small satellite or human rated space mission, operating as a scalable network architecture for all on board computing and communication equipment.
Alex Trigoub, space product line manager for Aitech, noted, “Compared to other protocols, such as 1553B, Serial and SpaceWire, Ethernet provides a much higher bandwidth and far more flexibility in a wide variety of applications. It also provides its own mechanisms for protection and redundancy, including xSTP & VRRP, which are both supported by the S-A6640 to eliminate the chance of communications failure.”
Adaptable for any platform size; Space-rated for NEO/LEO missions
Specific uses of the new S-A6640 include connectivity for GPGPU, edge computing and storage as well as network protection, resiliency and scalability in NEO/LEO space applications, especially in applications with two redundant S-A6640s installed.
The switch offers several advantages to ensure reliable communication. Fast Boot means operation is restored immediately in the event of power spike/outage. In addition, the IPv4/IPv6 dual stack routing enables the S-A6640 to be used in any type of IP network and the secure SSH & HTTPS interfaces facilitates easy remote management access.