SG100 Cloud Computing Payload (SG100 Cloud Computer) - 07.19.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
Spacecraft now require much higher-performance computers than those currently available. SG100 Cloud Computing Payload (SG100 Cloud Computer) tests a space-rated, single-board computer designed to allow engineers, scientists and researchers to perform significant amounts of onboard analysis prior to downlink. This allows use of modern scientific instruments aboard the space station with minimal downlink requirements. The two-year test fully vets the system to confirm its long-duration operation in the low-Earth orbit radiation environment.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Trent Martin, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details

OpNom: SG100 Cloud Computer

Principal Investigator(s)
Trent Martin, Business Integra, Inc., Houston, TX, United States

Peter Dennett, PADSOFT, Inc., Kemah, TX, United States

Business Integra, Inc., Houston, TX, United States

Sponsoring Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Sponsoring Organization
National Laboratory (NL)

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2017 - August 2018

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

  • SG100 Cloud Computing Payload (SG100 Cloud Computer) is a technology demonstration of a radiation tolerant computer capability for high data science applications.
  • The SG100 Cloud Computer is based upon the SG100 Single Board Computer (SBC), which is an evolution of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer 02 (AMS-02) main data computers.
  • The mission of SG100 Cloud Computer is to operate on the ISS in the low-Earth orbit (LEO) radiation environment, demonstrating immunity to latch-ups, and tolerance to/recovery from single event upsets.
  • The end goal of this mission is to prove technology readiness level (TRL) 9 for the SG100 SBC.


In order to reach technology readiness level (TRL) 9, SG100 Cloud Computing Payload (SG100 Cloud Computer) operates two SG100’s for an extended period of time. Operations include transferring data to and from the International Space Station (ISS) and back and forth between the onboard data storage. The systems are monitored for performance degradation, latch-ups, bit-flips and other computer performance measures. The intent is to utilize the results to confirm the design operates in the low-Earth orbit environment for long durations. The test period is two years with interim data reports at 6-month intervals. Although TRL9 is officially reached after the first 6 months, the additional 18 months are required to fully vet the system. In order to test the design’s robustness, the team not only tests existing payload data, but also looks for opportunities to process data from other payloads.
The SG100 Cloud Computer Payload system is enclosed in a provided International Standard Payload Rack (ISPR) mountable enclosure. Interfaces to ISS from this enclosure include power, thermal, network, and optionally high rate data link (HRDL). Power from ISS is 28 volts (about 150 watts) controlled by a front panel switch. The inner enclosure is a 4U conductive cooled assembly. PROC uses a stirring fan for thermal control of its baseplate. This fan is mounted in the back of the ISPR enclosure, thermostatically controlled, and baffled all to suppress noise. The network interface is attached to the payload’s local area network (LAN). The command and data handling interface is by Ku-Forward over this LAN.
A bi-directional HRDL is provided by the system to support high speed transfers.  The inner enclosure contains a backplane with four slots. Two are occupied with SG100 single board computers, one in the system slot and one in a peripheral slot. The third board is mounted in a peripheral slot and provides a power supply, storage media in the form of a single M.2 Solid State Disk (SSD), and a bi-directional HRDL interface for high rate data transfers.

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Space Applications
The SG100’s multicore processor supports the higher processor demands of current and future state-of-the art scientific and aerospace applications. This investigation demonstrates the performance of two SG100 computers, in a locker-sized unit with a power supply and data storage, with little crew interaction and no need for return to Earth.

Earth Applications
This technology makes on-orbit science and operational systems more cost-effective, opening up spaceflight opportunities for researchers and bringing more space knowledge to the public.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Crew installs in rack, powers on, and then no nominal crew time. Payload Operations and Control Center (POCC) at Business Integra Offices near Johnson Space Center. POCC ISS resources include IVoDS and TReK. High availability power (28VDC, <100Watts), 24x7 not required but need hours. Weekday Ku forward and S-band command windows and weekly Ku downlink windows are needed. Onboard Network Attached Storage (NAS access), including BOOTP and TIME are also needed.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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The Payloads Resource Onboard Cloud (PROC) preliminary system architecture. Image courtesy of Business Integra, Inc.

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