NASA Office of Logic Design

NASA Office of Logic Design

A scientific study of the problems of digital engineering for space flight systems,
with a view to their practical solution.

Mongoose R3000 Processor


A Radiation-Hardened, Computer for Satellite Applications

John I. Gaona Jr.
Sandia National Laboratories, Embedded Processor Subsystems Department

10th Annual AIAA/ Utah State University Conference on Small Satellites


This paper describes high reliability radiation hardened computers built by Sandia for application aboard Department Of Energy (DOE) Satellite programs requiring 32-bit processing. The computers highlight a radiation hardened (1 Mrad(Si)) R3000 executing up to 10 Million Reduced Instruction Set Instructions (RISC) Per Second (MIPS), a dual purpose module control bus used for real-time fault and power management which allows for extended mission operation on as little as 1.2 watts, and a Local Area Network capable of 480 Megabits per second. The Central Processing Unit (CPU) is the NASA Goddard R3000 nicknamed the "Mongoose or Mongoose 1". The Sandia Satellite Computer (SSC) uses Rational’s Ada compiler, debugger, operating system kernel, and Enhanced Floating Point Emulation Library targeted at the Mongoose.

The SSC gives Sandia the capability of processing complex types of spacecraft attitude determination and control algorithms and of modifying programmed control laws via ground command. And in general, SSC offers end users the ability to process data onboard the spacecraft that would normally have been sent to the ground which allows reconsideration of traditional space-ground partitioning options.

Mongoose-V MIPS R3000 Rad-Hard Processor Mongoose V Architecture Description
Mongoose_V_SEE.htm Mongoose V SEE Test Results

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