Writing - Non Fiction - Papers & Reports - IT & Telecom - Starlab

Physics (RAAF) Department, University of Melbourne, Research Report No 147
by Robert Koppelhuber and Giulio Zambon

Publisher: The Institution of Engineers, ISBN 0-85825-303-8

Paper presented at the Second National Space Engineering Symposium, Sydney, 1986.
Click here to read the abstract.


From August 1984 to April 1986, I worked as an engineer with the Starlab group of Mount Stromlo Observatory. In 1986, we build a GAS (Get Away Special) module to be flown on the Space Shuttle. The GAS cans are kind-of oil drums attached to the walls of the shuttle bay, so that they open to space when the shuttle is in orbit.

The original idea was to test a CCD-based light detector for a new telescope, but, when funding was cut, the project was "relabelled" as an observation mission expected to provide astronomical data.

Ah well...

The controller of the experiment was a tricky thing, because circuitry in space is exposed to cosmic rays that can cause glitches. Therefore, the software must cope with unreliable memory.

Anyhow, Robert Koppelhuber was responsible for designing the hardware of the controller, while I was responsible for the software. In this paper we described our initial designs.

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