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Flight Electronics Branch
Code 561
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Electrical Engineering Division
Code 560, NASA GSFC Greenbelt, Maryland

Flight Data Systems and Radiation Effects Branch, Code 561

The Flight Data Systems and Radiation Effects Branch supports both Space and Earth science:
  • For Space Science we help to explore the solar system, search for life beyond Earth and assist in solving the mysteries of the universe.
  • For Earth Science we help to detect long term climate changes, its causes and impacts.

Points of Contact


  • Command and data handling
  • Flight electronics discipline support
  • Design/development of data system boxes, components and new technology
  • Support to proposals for future science missions
  • Support to existing missions both before and after launch to solve technical problems
  • Radiation Effects and Analysis

Flight Hardware Development Activities

  • Swift Burst Alert Telescope Instrument Processor Electronics
    • RAD6000 Processor, DSP Board, Memory/1553 Board, Multichannel Interface Card (MIC)
    • Incorporates SpaceWire/1355 Link to/from Instrument
  • ST-5 Command and Data Handling Electronics
    • Single-board C&DH based on the Mongoose V Processor, total power 4.4 watts.
    • Incorporates CULPRiT (CMOS Ultra-Low Power Radiation Tolerant) Reed-Solomon Encoder
    • Three flight units will be built & tested for mission requirement to demonstrate formation flying
  • Triana Spacecraft & Instrument Data Systems
  • NGST Integrated Science Instrument Module Command and Data Handling Electronics
  • Implementation Command and Data Handling and Radiation Discipline Support to Projects including AQUA, AURA, TDRS, HST, GLAST, NPP, POES, ST-5, Swift, QuikTOMS, VCL, GRACE, SORCE, GLAS, ICESAT.
  • Formulation Command and Data Handling and Radiation Discipline Support to efforts such as SDO, GPM, XMASS, Constellation-X and LISA and IMDC.


  • CULPRiT – CMOS Ultra Low Power Radiation Tolerant
    • Goal is 0.5 volts CMOS logic operating in space radiation environment
    • To be flight demonstrated on ST-5 as well as on EO-3 GIFTS
    • Collaboration with Code 564 and University of New Mexico funded by CETDP
  • SpaceWire Flight Data Network
    • Based on IEEE 1355
    • Operates up to 100 Mbps
    • Baselined for NGST
  • SpaceLAN Flight Data Network
    • Flight Ethernet (IEEE 802.3) Network Interface and Switching Hub
    • Ultimately should operate up to 100 Gbps
    • Baselined for SDO proposal, Funded by SOMO and ESTO
  • FQPSK Pre-modulation filter
  • Rad-Hard Reprogrammable FPGA
  • NEPP (NASA Electronic Parts and Packaging Program) Electronics Radiation Characterization Project
  • Adaptive Instrument Module – first reconfigurable computing flight demo with APL and the University of Queensland
  • Past

Facilities and Labs

  • View the Facilities and Labs
  • Surface Mount Technology (SMT), Board Layout and Electronics Rework Facilities
    • Fabrication of SMT electronics boards
    • Design of enclosures, board layout, electronics rework
    • Work performed onsite by EED MEDS support contractors; tasks coordinated by Larry Pack
    • Recent and future Instrument Support include IRAC, LEISA AC, GLAS, SWIFT BAT, and MLA.
  • Radiation Effects Facility
    • Gamma Source: Cobalt 60 Irradiator
    • Two 2 MeV Vand de Graaf Particle Accelerators for damage testing & instrument cal.
    • 150keV Potential Drop Particle Accelerator for instrument cal.
  • Building 23 Flight Electronics Lab
    • Testing of Instrument and Spacecraft Flight Data Systems
      • 1500 sq. ft. raised floor facility equipped with ESD work benches & temp chamber.
      • Tested EO-1 WARP Instrument Data System and MIDEX/MAP Spacecraft Data System