National Aeronautics andSpace Administration
Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland 20771
Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission 3A
SOLID STATE RECORDER
To communicate with its operators on theground, the Hubble Space Telescope uses a groupof NASA satellites called the Tracking and DataRelay Satellite System (TDRSS). By way of TDRSS, Hubble sends the data from its scienceinstruments and spacecraft systems to the SpaceTelescope Operations Control Center at NASA’sGoddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.When the TDRSS link is not available, Hubblestores its science and engineering data in onboardrecorders for playback at a later time. Hubblerecords all of its science data to prevent any possi-ble loss of unique information.Prior to the Second Servicing Mission, Hubbleused three 1970s-style, reel-to-reel tape recorders.In February 1997, Astronauts replaced one of these mechanical recorders with a digital SolidState Recorder. During Servicing Mission 3AAstronauts will remove a second mechanical taperecorder and install a second Solid State Recorder.
More Storage, No Moving Parts
Unlike the reel-to-reel recorder it replaces, theSolid State Recorder has no reels, no tape, and nomoving parts to wear out and limit lifetime. Datais digitally stored in computer-like memory chipsuntil Hubble’s operators command its playback.Although the Solid State Recorder is about thesame size and shape as the reel-to-reel recorder, itcan hold approximately ten times as much data. Itstores 12 gigabits of data, while the tape recorderit replaces can hold only 1.2 gigabits. This tentimes greater storage has proven essential inallowing Hubble’s new, high-tech scientific instru-ments to be fully productive.
Flexibility and Multi-tasking
State-of-the-art electronics provide the SolidState Recorder with more capability and flexibili-ty than a reel-t o - r e e lr e c o r d e r.This digitalrecorder isdesigned toperform thetasks of twos e p a r a t emechanicalrecorders. Unlike a mechanical recorder, the SolidState Recorder can record and play back datasimultaneously.Another advantage is its ability to record twodata streams at the same time, allowing both thescience and engineering data streams to be cap-tured on a single recorder. Unlike the reel-to-reelrecorders, data can be played back without havingto rewind the tape, and information can be instant-ly accessed.
Solid State Recorder