Aitech provided a media converter for NASA’s Orion spacecraft for data connectivity and a single board computer for Callisto, a vehicle-connected crew interface technology demonstration onboard Orion during NASA’s Artemis I mission. Callisto was developed by Lockheed Martin in partnership with Amazon with its Alexa digital voice assistant and Cisco with its Webex video conferencing technology.
Pratish Shah, General Manager of Aitech USA, noted, “As part of this first step for humankind’s return to, and the start of a permanent presence on, the Moon, Aitech is proud of our role in this historic Artemis I mission. The growing number of compute-intensive mission-critical applications pushing the envelope of data processing at the edge in space need reliable, radiation tolerant, and proven technologies, like what we develop at Aitech.”
For the Lockheed Martin-built Orion spacecraft, the vehicle flown during the recent Artemis I mission to the Moon and back, Aitech developed a media converter that provided information connectivity as the main conduit data interface between Orion and the Electrical Ground Service Equipment (EGSE). Orion will enable humans to explore deeper regions of space and remain in space for extended periods.
Aitech also provided the C878 3U VPX Intel Xeon D-based Single Board Computer (SBC) for Callisto, a payload to test and demonstrate how commercial technology could support future crewed missions in space. Aitech’s C878 provided the computational core of Callisto’s Alexa and intercom capabilities.
The Artemis I mission launched on November 16 and splashed down back on Earth on December 11. Callisto was installed in the Orion cabin, and during the 25.5-day mission, virtual crewmembers extensively tested the payload from NASA’s Johnson Space Center. The testing demonstrated how the Alexa digital voice assistant and Webex video conferencing technology could be used to assist future astronauts on deep space missions.