Issue 26

tvONE ONErack Provides Space Mission Critical Reliability

United Launch Alliance, responsible for Mars Mission Perseverance’s rocket launch, are now using ONErack to contain camera circuits


24 September 2021

tvONE’s ONErack universal powered mounting system has taken on one of its most mission critical applications to date after being installed at America’s United Launch Alliance sites – which provide rocket launch services for NASA spacecraft.

One of the most recent high-profile take-offs was NASA’s Perseverance mission to Mars on United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket. This event attracted international attention, especially as the Perseverance rover landed safely on the Red Planet in February this year to hunt for microbial life.

At Perseverance’s launch in July 2020, United Launch Alliance’s two sites at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida and California’s Vandenberg Space Force Base had more than 30 of tvONE’s ONErack units installed and in play. Indeed, all ULA’s recent launches for NASA have used ONErack as part of its demanding technology systems, and will continue to do so.

“At the launch site, ULA has a large number of cameras – about 60 – to monitor every angle before, during, and after the rocket blasts off,” says tvONE’s Global Product Manager, Mark Armon. “This results in a lot of data and power consumption – as each feed is a circuit – which is when ONErack comes into play in the ULA control rooms. ONErack is pretty unique in the marketplace as it enables users to mount randomly sized, externally powered devices from any manufacturer into slide-in modules that can be installed quickly and cleanly and serviced easily. This means that if anything goes wrong with one device, that chassis can be removed in isolation and fixed.”

“All mounted devices can also be efficiently cooled by ONErack directly, which is very useful when you’re employing a large amount of technology for something like a rocket launch.”

Because ONErack allows third-party devices to be simply installed within its chassis, ULA is free to combine a host of technology inside it, powered and cooled as required.

“ONErack helps us organise our rack full of IP camera components really effectively,” says Mark Tillman from United Launch Alliance. “These components were originally installed at each camera location out in the hot and humid environment. Using a different design concept, the tvONE chassis allowed us to move all the equipment into air-conditioned communications rooms.”

“With the sliding trays, we also have easy access to each of our camera’s components. If I used rack shelves, it would not only take up more space, but we would not have been able to have the components as densely packaged. We are using this model for many of our systems – and I’m about to order a few more tvONE chassis,” says Tillman.

United Launch Alliance reportedly discovered tvONE’s products at a trade show, seeing a demo of the ONErack system before investing for their sites. They are now the world’s biggest ONErack customer, adding systems on a regular basis as they build infrastructure for further rocket launches. ULA purchased all its ONErack systems through Anixter.

The ULA team opted for the 6RU version of ONErack, which can hold up to 16 modules with up to two voltage selectors each. When using the ONErack power supply, each voltage selector can provide selectable power at 5v, 7.5v, 9v, 12v, 13.5, 18v, 24v up to 35 watts.

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