Coarse and heavy like a small car, the NASA-Rover Perseverance has recently explored our neighboring planet and excited with exciting recordings of landing and its surroundings in the Jezero crater. Much more unspectacular are the performance data of its hardware, which was no IT-Nerd behind the oven at first glance. For Mac fans, she is still a beach, is an old acquaintance: An a similar chip stuck in the IMAC G3 of 1998, with the Steve Jobs once recruited Apple’s recruitment.
A G3 on the Mars
The RAD750 processor of the British manufacturer BAE-Systems in the Rover Perseverance corresponds to PowerPC-750 technology (or. G3) and works in the processor clock between 110 and 200 MHz. That’s about 10 times as fast as the transaction Rover Spirit and Opportunity, but still miles away from a Raspberry Pi. In addition, the computer has 256 megabytes RAM, as well as 2 gigabytes Flash memory. About a warm electronics box (Web) called hot insulation the temperature is kept constant. And the system greatly monitor itself. About two networks that meet the high safety requirements of aerospace, the computer is associated with each system.
Radiation protection is expensive
The decisive advantage towards the earthly systems is its robustness: the RAD750 operates in the temperature range between -55 ° C and 125 ° C. In addition, he is insensitive to rays and ions that were brought to commercial laptops and smartphones within a short time. The type of process, which has already done its service since 2011 in the Rover Curiosity, is said to be the manufacturer of radiation doses up to 10.Tolerate 000 gy. For comparison: a value of 6 Gy is considered a person as absolutely deadly. The protected hardware has its price: according to the information of the New Scientist Pays the NASA 200.000 US dollars, around 170.000 Euro, per wheel750 unit.
Old technique not abnormal
Unusual is not that for space missions and in the aviation of aviation, but for more stable and mostly long-term hardware tested hardware. The systems are optimized for the high requirements of aerospace and tested. For example, Boeing-747 machines have recently received their updates via Floppy Disk, which occurs in normal life only on retro friends.