In this proposed effort, Innoflight will develop a new type of high-reliability, high-performance data network switch family known collectively as the “InnoSwitch”.
The High Performance Spaceflight Computing (HPSC) Chiplet will provide high-reliability space missions with a major increase in computing capability when compared with existing radiation-hardened processors. However, HPSC-enabled computers are only one aspect of a full spacecraft avionics system. As technology and mission complexity continue to advance, additional technologies will be needed in order to operate full spacecraft systems. By the time HPSC-enabled computers become readily available, Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) technology will have advanced well beyond the capability of the HPSC itself. As a result, COTS technology will need to be integrated into high-performance space systems alongside HPSC computers.
In addition to high-performance sensors and processors, high-speed bus interconnects are critical enabling technologies. The HPSC Chiplet includes support for several popular high-speed interconnects: Serial RapidIO (SRIO), PCI Express (PCIe), and Ethernet. High-reliability space systems, including those with built-in redundancy, must implement sophisticated Fault Detection, Isolation, and Reconfiguration (FDIR) features within the spacecraft bus interconnect system. The selected interconnect standards have varying degrees of built-in support for high-reliability, fault-tolerant systems. Innoflight’s goal is to extend and tailor these existing FDIR capabilities for spacecraft architectures. We also plan to standardize these new capabilities between the different interconnect types. Implementing standardized FDIR features within radiation-tolerant switches will facilitate the development of high-reliability space systems, including those with both HPSC processors and COTS components, for multiple types of high-speed interconnects.
The proposed InnoSwitch technology will be applicable to all missions that use the popular Serial RapidIO, PCI Express, and Ethernet high-speed interconnects. These interconnect types all require the use of switches for standard bus topologies. The InnoSwitch will offer extended, space-specific features for enhanced reliability when compared against standard off-the-shelf switches.
The high-speed interconnects discussed in this proposal are used in many non-NASA space missions as well. Therefore, the InnoSwitch technology is equally applicable to other space missions, including those featuring both DoD and commercial spacecraft.