MadSci Network: Computer Science

Re: What are the uses of computers in space?

Date: Fri Mar 14 13:14:29 2003
Posted By: Dietmar Hildebrand, Post-doc/Fellow, Radiation Biophysics,
Area of science: Computer Science
ID: 1047500645.Cs

Hi, Maria,
I guess you have to do some homework on that topic. It is a topic not a 
question, and I could write a whole book about it. A few usages:
1. Any actively steerable space ship uses computers to accept the commands 
for navigation and turning them into control actions on the ship's 
propulsion devices.
2. Computers control the experiments on board of scientific missions. Even 
in very little satellites onboard experiments and cameras are remotely 
controlled from earth by commands to an on-board computer
3. Computers calculate transmission signals from observation devices (e.g 
telescopes) and send them back to earth, where they get converted back to 
pictures, histograms, or other forms suitable for human perception.
4. computers control the environment on board. Specifically on manned 
missions there has to be continuous control of temperature, pressure, 
humidity, oxygen, carbondioxide, pollutants, etc.
5. computers on board contain simulation software, which allows to find 
the best way to repair or minimize the impact of any unexpected damage.
Hope i did not forget any important other case.

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