To support its experiments the Argotec Team has developed custom solutions for Command and Data Handling. The latest has been develop for the Thermal Exchange experiment (aka ARTE), which is a small form-factor, yet powerful redundant architecture.

Main features

Powerful. Based on ARM9 architecture, a well-known and very powerful processor.

Redundant architecture. The architecture features two redundant CPUs, working in parallel. An arbiter board monitors the health of each CPU, ensuring correct operations throughout system life.

High volume mass storage. The storage requirements of today’s architecture are more and more demanding. This architecture features SD card memories, one for each CPU, that can be used as mass memories.

Acquisition board. An additional external board is present (as option), in order to have multiple high-speed analog-to-digital acquisition channels.

Real-time. The CPU has the capabilities to provide a real-time environment.

Small form factor. The unit has been designed to fit into a small space, with the boards stacked.


This unit has been used in the ARTE experiment, in conjuction with the ARTE PSU. The unit served controlling and managing instant power delivered to the heat pipes in the experiment, and for sensor monitoring and data processing/storage.

The unit has successfully operated in ISS environment, and it’s compliant with NASA EMC/EMI standards.

Thanks to its small form factor and its performances, the unit can be used in various scenarios even non-space once. Some examples are:

Technical specifications

Architecture 2xARM9 redundant, up to 240 MHz
Power consumption 5 W (@ 5V)
Analog-to-digital channels 8×4 channels @ 12 bits, with 200 ksps each
Mass storage 2 SD card, 32GB each
Dimensions (for two boards) 160x84x21 mm


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