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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Spectrum Astro Inc.

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Spectrum Astro Inc. has grown from a single entrepreneur in 1988 to become a significant contender in the space technologies market. Sixteen years later the company employs over 500 people and has successfully performed or is performing on over 240 contracts for the United States Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Our Entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to innovation are unique in the aerospace industry, allowing us to keep cost's low while offering superior capabilities in the areas of system engineering, spacecraft systems and subsystems, system integration, launch support and on-orbit operations support for advanced technology satellite programs.

Some of the more significant Innovations adopted by Spectrum Astro was that we were the first to fly open architecture electronics using the commercially available 6U Versa Module Europe (VME). This form factor has become the standard for all Spectrum Astro satellites. We also were the first to fly the Space Qualified Redundant Array of Independent Disks (SQ-RAID). SQ-RAID combines low cost data storage with high data capacity and speed for sophisticated aerospace applications. Using an array of specially qualified and packaged commercial disk drives to store and play back spacecraft payload and telemetry data, SQ-RAID matches the speed, reliability and ruggedness of current DRAM storage systems while offering several key improvements.

To date we have launched 7 satellites all of which have achieved 100% mission success. Currently we have 5 additional satellites under contract of which 2 are scheduled to launch in late 2004, 2 in 2005 and the last in late 2006.

Because of this performance Spectrum Astro has received 12 significant awards including NASA's Distinguished Public Service Medal presented in 2001.