First space-qualified commercial solid state drives for low earth orbit satellite application

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Mercury Systems have announced the first prototype shipments of its 3U TRRUST-Stor VPX RT space-qualified secure solid-state drives (SSD) to two leading suppliers of low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites.

Designed to operate reliably in high radiation environments, this is the first commercial SSD leveraging VITA 78 SpaceVPX standards to reduce cost and mitigate programme risk. In addition to commercial satellite applications, this device is also intended for high-altitude aircraft, airborne weapons and mission-critical ground computing systems.

“Customer demand for commercial radiation-tolerant SSD devices for LEO satellites has far surpassed our expectations,” said Iain Mackie, Vice President and General Manager of Mercury's Microelectronics Secure Solutions group.

At the heart of the SSD is Mercury’s NAND controller with BuiltSECURE error correcting code (ECC) algorithms, which mitigate radiation-induced byte errors, enabling sustainable reliability and fault tolerance that are not currently available.

Mercury’s TRRUST-Stor VPX RT device provides long-term data integrity and has been engineered into an open standards platform, which means that customers are able to seamlessly integrate this device into the SpaceVPX ecosystem of processing boards and chassis.

As the need for radiation-tolerant devices for LEO satellites proliferates, system development around the SpaceVPX open standard architecture is seen as integral in supporting the growth of the space market.

Flight units are scheduled to ship in the first half of calendar year 2019.