On July 2, 2019, NASA successfully tested the Ascent Abort-2 (AA2) using North Atlantic Industries' (NAI) Sensor Interface Unit SIU35 with the Orion spacecraft's Launch Abort System (LAS). The LAS, designed for crew rescue in case of a catastrophic malfunction on the launch pad or during ascent, demonstrated its ability to abort the mission under extreme aerodynamic loads, reaching speeds of up to 600 miles per hour.
NAI's rugged SIU35 was selected by NASA for the AA2 test's Avionics Flight Computer (FC) Chassis and I/O system. It features an Internal NAI COTS 150 W, 28 VDC input power supply that meets MIL-STD-704A, MIL-STD-1275D and provides a 50-millisecond holdup. Leveraging NAI's Configurable Open Systems Architecture™ (COSA®), hardware decisions were made early on, allowing for the prompt delivery of an early functional prototype. The SIU35 seamlessly integrates NAI's I/O modules, enabling functionalities such as Serial Communications, Discrete I/O, and RTD measurement, ensuring compliance with NASA's demanding standards.
The successful AA2 test paved the way for the SIU35's utilization in NASA's Artemis I Mission, launched on November 16, 2022. In this mission, the SIU35 served as the Data Concentrator for the Launch Abort System (LAS), collecting critical sensor data to ensure the safety of the payload and crew. Additionally, NAI's products were deployed to monitor battery health for three Flight Computers in the launch tower.
The seamless integration of NAI's Rugged COTS SIU35 in both the AA2 test and the Artemis I Mission demonstrates its capability, reliability, and compliance with NASA's demanding launch requirements for space exploration.