Rocket Engine Test Stand

Abaco Systems Reflective Memory

Distributed computing, which tightly couples multiple microprocessors, is growing in popularity because distributed systems are economical to build and use. At the same time, a distributed approach is often simply the most practical choice. Most distributed applications are broken down into pieces, with specialized computers each handling specific independent tasks. This makes even very complicated tasks easier to partition and code. The designer is also able to place computers strategically or place them to fit within existing space constraints.

For instance, a rocket engine test stand uses hundreds of transducers to measure various parameters. Operators need a lag-free connection to the testing, but for safety reasons, the instrumentation/viewing center may be located 3,000 meters away. By distributing the implementation, the designer is able to install a computer at the test stand that digitizes and preprocesses the data. Then, instead of hundreds of discrete wires spanning the 3,000 meters, one high speed Reflective Memory network link is all that is required to send the data back to the main computer in the control room. This distant computer then analyzes, archives, formats and displays the data on monitors for viewing by the test operators.

By using a high-speed Reflective Memory link, operators can observe and react to changes as they occur, with minimal delays imposed by the connection. By placing the control staff and core processing computers at a safe distance from the volatile testing, operators are able to minimize risks to personnel and equipment with no degradation of test performance.