Controlling big machines: Large Collider, NASA Orion, strongest robot

Automation helps big machines: Adder extension technology is contributing to the Large Hadron Collider, a new generation of space exploration is afoot with the help of Green Hills Software, and there is the world's largest and strongest six-axis robot from Fanuc Robotics, the M-2000iA/1200. See photos.

09/30/2008


Newburyport, MA and Santa Barbara, CA — Adder extension technology is contributing to the Large Hadron Collider and a new generation of space exploration is afoot with the help of Green Hills Software. Then there’s the world’s largest and strongest six-axis robot from Fanuc Robotics, the M-2000iA/1200.

NASA Orion spacecraft model. Source: NASA
A 1/4th-scale model of the Orion spacecraft is lowered into the 6.2-million-gallon Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory at NASA's Johnson Space Center. Engineers used the test to gather data on how the model behaved and reacted in the water. Source: NASA

NASA is using Green Hills Software’s Platform for Avionics with the safety-certified Integrity-178B real-time operating system in safety-critical electronics, including the command computer aboard NASA's Orion crew exploration vehicle.
The Orion crew exploration vehicle will transport a new generation of explorers to the moon, with crewed flights scheduled to begin in 2015. Orion is part of NASA's Constellation Program, the largest space initiative in 30 years, to send human explorers back to the moon and onward to Mars and other destinations in the solar system.
"The Lockheed Martin Orion team is working to build the state-of-the-art crew exploration vehicle which focuses first and foremost on crew safety and spacecraft reliability," said Gary Shubert, Orion Flight Software manager for Lockheed Martin. "Lockheed Martin selected Green Hills Software 's Integrity and Integrity-178B operating systems for use in the spacecraft's avionics systems, including the Flight Control Module (FCM), Spacecraft C3I Communication Adapter (SCCA), and Backup Emergency Controller. Green Hills Software was determined to be the most technically mature and offered a more economical commercial off-the-shelf solution."
The Platform for Avionics enables developers to reduce the number of on-board computers needed to support multiple software systems. Furthermore, the Platform for Avionics with Integrity-178B is the only safety critical RTOS certified for multiple languages, including Ada, C, and Embedded C++. It is used in demanding safety and security critical electronics applications where human life must be protected, according to David Kleidermacher, chief technology officer, Green Hills Software. "We are pleased that NASA and its contractors have put their trust in Green Hills Software to help realize the vision of next-generation human space exploration,” he said.

The LHC Operation Web Site and Application Launcher page has a photo and

Adder extension technology is used in the control room of the Atlas experiment of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is a gigantic scientific instrument near Geneva, where it spans the border between Switzerland and France about 100 meters underground. It is a particle accelerator used by physicists to study the smallest known particles, the fundamental building blocks of all things.

Largest, strongest six-axis robot
Fanuc Robotics, world
Control Engineering provides more about the world's strongest robot from Fanuc Robotics, including a photo that shows just how big it is .

The Atlas detector is one of the four main detectors on the LHC.
"We are thrilled to be part of the biggest physics experiment in history," said Adder technical director Nigel Dickens. "CERN's (European Organization for Nuclear Research) $3.8 billion investment can't leave video resolution to chance. Adder provides that critical viewing experience."
The high video and audio resolution and compact size made the Adder audio/video/data receivers the ideal solution for CERN's control room. 24 AdderLink X2-Gold units provided the control room with a crystal-clear view of the bid to re-create the Big Bang. AdderLink X2-Gold was designed to provide video clarity, audio quality, compatibility, and high rack densities.
AIT Partnership supplied CERN with the required technology and, through a couple of post-sales support calls, ensured that the solution was installed and up and running smoothly in time for the launch of the experiment.
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