Is GigaBlox Rugged suitable for use in a satellite

– Copied from customer email –

I had some questions about the GigaBlox Rugged Gigabit Switch I was hoping to answer.

We’re aiming to launch a satellite that incorporates an payload utilizing OTS components. The main payload cameras that are being considered are GigE cameras (not a RJ45 connector), so we are looking for an ethernet switch to handle the connector from two or more cameras without having to resort to the design and integration of board components ourselves.

Broadly, is there anything you would know off-hand that would prevent the operation of the product in a vacuum besides thermal considerations? Was any mechanical testing (vibration and/or shock) performed on the board?

GigaBlox Rugged has hours of flight time verified at around 40,000 feet (12,000 meters) without issue. That’s an air pressure of around 20kPa.

We do have another customer using GigaBlox Rugged in a Cubesat deployment, but I don’t have any feedback on performance, or whether that’s been launched yet.

The main issue is thermal (lack of convection), as the main chip on GigaBlox Rugged does get hot under full load. I don’t envisage any outgassing issues on the board, as there are no seal internal voids. At present we have only positive empirical data on thousands of units sold and no reported issues due to altitude. We actually have MIL-STD-810G testing scheduled for GigaBlox Rugged in late February, which will cover the measurands in the table below.

To be honest, UbiSwitch is likely a better fit for you. It has been designed for operation in very high and low pressures, and tested at 6000 PSI (deep sea) and in a pressure chamber up to 35,000 feet. (Full MIL-STD-810G testing is also schedule for late feb). If you only need 4 GigE ports, you could couple it with UbiSwitch BaseBoard Mini, which uses PicoClasp positive locking connectors. That being said, we’ve never had a complaint on the PicoBlade friction lock connectors, but positive locking connectors are meant to be more resistance to vibration.