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Modular Integrated Stackable Layers (MISL)
September 20, 2013


The Modular Integrated Stackable Layers (MISL) is a compact space-rated computer system that is modular, scalable and reconfigurable. The original goal was to design a space environment capable instrumentation system with a flexible design so that as subsets of requirements changed, it minimized the need for new designs and maximized the reusability of the hardware and software modules. The result is a flexible, economical and small computer system that can be adapted to uses in space environment instrumentation and control.

Some of the current applications:

External High Definition Camera System (EHDC)

Integrated into the EHDC system, utilized as a communications interface and local control within the EHDC enclosure.  Five units, all configured the same.

  • MSP430 MicroController board
  • One Ethernet communcation board
  • This two-board stack is integrated as a daughter board on a custom power converter/switcher assembly.


Two accelerometer units installed on Morpheus as standalone test units. Each unit is a unique configuration:

  • Single tri-axial accel, battery powered, Ethernet or Wi-Fi interface. —Local storage of data during test, high speed download after test.
  • Dual tri-axial accel, battery powered, ISA100 or Zigbee interface. — Short distance near real-time data download. 

 Deep Space Habitat

Thirteen units deployed in the habitat as an rf mesh network. All units configured the same:

  • MSP430 MicroController board
  • Ten channel 4-20ma DAQ board
  • ISA100 rf communication board
  • 28 Volt power input from DSH


Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle

Three Data Acquisition Units deployed on the vehicle. The units were configured with hardware and software to test Ethernet bonding of a redundant Ethernet system configuration. All units configured the same:

  • MSP430 MicroController board
  • Ten channel 0-10 Volt DAQ board
  • Two Ethernet communication board
  • 28 Volt power input from MMSEV


Potential Uses for the MISL

  • Remote autonomous data acquisition
  • Distributed instrumentation
  • Control of subsystems (i.e. Swingbed)
  • Bus protocol converters


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MISL image
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Page Last Updated: October 27th, 2013
Page Editor: NASA Administrator