Adapting the Telemetry Collection Module as a Mechanism Control Electronics Master Controller, 15-9151

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Principal Investigators
Paul H. McGaugh
John M. Stone

Inclusive Dates: 07/01/99 - 10/31/99

Background - SwRI used quick-look internal research funds to adapt the telemetry collection module (TCM) developed under internal research project 15-9061 as the central processor for a major aerospace firm's spacecraft mechanism control computer. Internal research funds ensured the Institute's competitive advantage in the procurement while preserving SwRI's right of access to the resulting hardware.

Approach - The general approach used for this program was to compare the capabilities of the TCM and the requirements for the mechanism control electronics (MCE) and modify only those aspects of the existing design that required changes while keeping as many of the existing attributes as we could. To accomplish this modification, the following tasks were performed.

  • Data bus master control logic modification
    The TCM was configured as a slave on the data bus. To meet the bus master requirements of the MCE specification, the field-programmable gate-array (FPGA) was modified and buffers were added to allow direct bus control through a new set of addresses.
  • Auxiliary bus modification
    The TCM used an auxiliary bus to move data to a special-purpose interface. This bus was removed, and FPGA functions were added to provide additional input and output functions required by the MCE.
  • Resource Arbitration Logic Simplification
    The TCM allowed external processors access to onboard resources as a data bus slave. The removal of the slave function allowed simplification of the resource arbitration logic.
  • Interface Modification and Enhancement
    Interface logic was changed, and additional connectors were added to meet the MCE specification requirements.

Accomplishments - The modified design is referred to as the SC-196 controller. This moderately performing, radiation-tolerant digital controller fills a previous gap in SwRI's product offering. The design was advanced to the printed wiring board layout stage, and the core processor layout was completed. The board layout completion was deferred to ensure that final, project-unique interface requirements could be made efficiently.

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