Delkin in Space
Delkin Devices Industrial SD Cards Rugged Enough for Outer Space
Delkin Devices has been the source of industrial SD cards for a San Francisco based company that launches its products into orbit aboard satellites. Pumpkin Inc., a company that manufactures products that have opened new doors in the space industry since 2000, has trusted the rugged durability of Delkin Devices Industrial SD cards to withstand the demands of outer space, as Rob Call of Pumpkin Inc. explains.
Pumpkin has always used Delkin Devices SD cards in the spacecraft it builds.
Pumpkin was the first company to build commercially available Nanosatellites. Nanosats are a class of spacecraft up to 10 kilograms. Since 2002, Pumpkin has sold hundreds of COTS satellites, many in kit form, which end-users to customize to suit. Pumpkin’s current focus is complete spacecraft built to customer specification as turnkey satellites ready to launch.
The flight computer on each satellite has an SD slot, and Pumpkin has never shipped anything but a Delkin extended temperature Industrial SD card in that slot. Current designs all have multiple slots and ship with at least two Delkin SD cards.
Early cubesats used low power microcontrollers, and were constrained to 2GB of storage. According to Pumpkin CEO/CTO Dr. Andrew Kalman, “Space is a harsh environment, so redundant systems are standard order. Our latest designs include two SD slots, a primary and a backup. We take measures to hold the cards in place; however, no other special treatment is required. There are many advantages to using SD cards during development.”
Customers use Pumpkin satellites for a variety of purposes, including education, science, entertainment, the arts, and national defense.
First Quarter 2017 deliveries to Pumpkin customers include these turnkey space vehicles:
- Overview 1 is a virtual reality spacecraft designed and built for SpaceVR to capture video from orbit.
- Buccaneer was built for to the University of New South Wales in Australia for both educational and experimental objectives.
- SUPERNOVA is a multi-purpose vehicle designed under a Rapid Innovation Fund program for the US Navy. This flight unit was flight qualified by the Air Force Institute of Technology. Testing simulate the effects of space including hot and cold cycling under vacuum while continuously reading and writing to storage. SUPERNOVA includes NSA certified hardware encrypted communications, and we know that cyber security experts have reviewed our electronics. If there were any issue with the SD cards, we would know.
Commercial electronics have been advancing faster than many traditional space systems. Delkin is there with Pumpkin among the open-source, lower cost COTS systems in orbit.
We know there are other SD card providers, however, our customers are particular about quality, and we have always had success with Delkin. The SD card would be the simplest part substitution we could make, but we never have. Pumpkin’s part number 634-00456 is a Delkin Industrial Temp SD Card. This is the only SD card that has ever been on our price list.