Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Electronic System

Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer Electronic System

Product Introduction


Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, designated AMS, is an international collaboration to detect and distinguish those high energy charged particles in the universe. This development effort involved the work of 600 scientists from 60 institutions and 16 countries in 3 continents under United States Department of Energy (DOE) sponsorship. Nobel laureate professor Samuel C. C. Ting of MIT is the principal investigator. An AMS prototype designated AMS-01, a simplified version of the detector, was built by the international consortium under Ting’s direction, where a research team of National Chung Shan Institute of Science and Technology, designated NCSIST, had taken the responsibility of manufacturing AMS-01 Electronic System since 1995. Based on solid research and manufacturing capabilities and highly disciplined effort, NCSIST’s product not only successfully passed the harsh pre-launch system integration tests by NASA, but also flown into earth orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on STS-91 in June 1998 for ten days.


NCSIST’s successful performance in AMS-01 earned the praise and the affirmation from her international partners of AMS, and continued the responsibility for the design, manufacture and test of AMS-02 Electronic System since 1999. Compared to the contemporary space-grade computers of NASA, the speed of the AMS-02 Electronic System is ten times faster. In addition to the electronic system hardware design, those critical technologies involved are: multiple redundancy and high reliability computer system design, thermal analysis and design, radiation hardening techniques, precision manufacturing and thermal processing of large scale mechanical components etc..


AMS-02 Electronic System successfully completed final integration and operational testing at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland which included exposure to powerful nuclear particle beams and thermal vacuum, EMC and EMI tests at ESA’s ESTEC facility in the Netherlands. AMS-02 was then shipped to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, United States for pre-launch system integration tests on August 26 2010, and was ready for the launch in March 2011. AMS-02 was delivered by the Space Shuttle Endeavour flight STS-134 to the International Space Station (ISS) on 16 May 2011 and mounted on the ISS on 19 May 2011 for a 15~20 years cosmic ray measurement in the space to explore dark matters.


AMS-02 Electronic System by NCSIST is a quadruple redundancy computer system, 650 processors and PCBs are integrated in 32 crates to process more than 300,000 channels of signals from 5 sub-detectors of AMS-02, weights 1 ton. The primary functions of AMS-02 Electronic System are global data acquisition and processing, and downloading all the science and health status data to the Payload Operation and Control Center (POCC) on the ground in real time via ISS data link for continuous status monitoring and commands uplink.


AMS-02 Electronic System development in NCSIST is multidisciplinary, more than 100 senior engineers are involved to complete the mission and earn affirmation form the international partners. The successful experience gained in AMS-02, not only highly promote Taiwan’s scientific visibility, but open opportunity windows to cooperate with NASA to develop the unmanned lunar lander for the Resource Prospector Mission, the commercializing of NCSIST’s space-graded computer, Shihmen-100, as well.


Space-grade Product Core Technologies

     1. Electronic system hardware design and manufacturing,

     2. Multiple redundancy and high reliability computer system design,

     3. Thermal analysis and design in space environment,

     4. Radiation hardening techniques,

     5. Precision manufacturing and thermal processing of large scale mechanical components,

     6. Environment tests techniques etc..