If you thought that developing processors, memory, or even entire computers were a complex process, just try to imagine how complex it is to develop these components to work in space. This is exactly what the Israeli startup Ramon.Space is doing. On Tuesday (March 15th) they announced that they have had an interesting development that will help store information in space.
Bring processing capabilities to space
For almost a decade, the Israeli startup has been developing technology designed to operate in the harsh conditions of deep space. Some of these developments have already been used for different space missions like with the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter project for solar photography or with the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa 2’s landing on the asteroid Ryugu 300 million kilometres from Earth.
This week, the Israeli startup introduced a new storage component called NuStream that will make it possible to bring the Data Center into space. In a conversation with Geektime, Smadar Strauss, Head of Strategic Initiatives at Ramon.Space, explained that one of the most important building blocks in any important activity in space is the storage unit. “Once we had a ready-made solution, and we started talking about it with customers, we understood from them that the need was huge. What we have developed is of high value to them and provides a solution to a real problem that they are facing," says Strauss. According to her, the new storage component is based on a combination of software and hardware such as Flash components - and has been strengthened to resist the harsh radiation conditions of the space with the help of proprietary technology developed by Ramon.Space. "The technology is managed by a processor we developed at the company and is called the RC-64, which is also hardened for radiation, so it works in space," says Strauss.
Professor Ran Ginosar, president of Ramon.Space, explained that the main challenge facing electronic components in space is cosmic radiation, “In space, commercial SSD storage is mainly damaged by radiation that accumulates over many months, and on average after about two years it stops working altogether. In space the atmosphere is empty and therefore heat generated by the electronic components cannot be dissipated by air, so heat removal is our second challenge. " The company's product contains complete protection against malfunctions in space since maintenance and repairs are not possible at such a distance. The company's product, Ginosar explains, was designed to "repair itself" with Fault Detection, Isolation & Recovery (FDIR) capabilities - that is, fault detection, hedging, and recovery. Internal backup and powerful error correction mechanisms are an important part of the capabilities for fault detection, hedging, and recovery.
The development of Ramon.Space already allows the storage product - which is only 10×10 cm in size - to be connected directly to satellite systems. This way they can enjoy a storage capacity of 1 terabyte of low-cost storage compared to most products in the space storage market today. Strauss explains that the product enables writing and reading at 700MB per second.
How is QA done for a product that is supposed to work in space?
“The process of testing a product for space begins already at the design stage where the failure mechanisms we are likely to encounter in space are considered, and the product is designed accordingly. The idea is that at the most basic level of the product we are thinking about the environment and everything that may fail, and therefore already give it a suitable solution."
Supported by Dov Moran
One of the first investors in Ramon. Space, and the chairman of its board, is a person who understands a thing or two about storage devices – Dov Moran, who said that the company's technology impressed him very much. "As a veteran entrepreneur in the storage market, I was very impressed with the technology and capabilities of the company to address the space market which has grown significantly. The company's technology brings to the space market unique capabilities that enable storage at very competitive volumes that are adapted to deal with the radiation conditions in space; it meets the need for storing a lot of information and enables the development of advanced applications for various space missions."