The popular press was recently abuzz with sad news from the planet Mars: Opportunity, the little

The popular press was recently abuzz with sad news from the planet Mars: Opportunity, the little rover that could, could do no more. It took an astonishing 15 years for it to give up the ghost, and it took a planet-wide dust storm that blotted out the sun and plunged the rover into apocalyptically dark and cold conditions to finally kill the machine. It lived 37 times longer than its 90-sol design life, producing mountains of data that will take another 15 years or more to fully digest. Entire careers were unexpectedly built around Opportunity – officially but bloodlessly dubbed “Mars Exploration Rover-B”, or MER-B – as it stubbornly extended its mission and overcame obstacles both figurative and literal. But “Oppy” is far from the only long-duration success that NASA can boast about. Now that Opportunity has sent its last data, it seems only fitting to celebrate the achievement with a look at exactly how machines and missions can survive and thrive so long in the harshest possible conditions. Failure is always an option, and recognizing that fact is one of the prices of doing business in space. The early days of space exploration were punctuated with multiple catastrophes, most...

Optima Stantron Selected to Provide Highly Rugged Cabinets for Naval Radar Application

Optima Stantron, an Elma company, has received a $2.4 million order from a leading defense prime contractor to supply highly rugged electronic equipment cabinets for the U.S. Navy’s next-generation air and missile defense radar (AMDR) program. The AN/SPY-6 AMDR program delivers truly scalable, and significantly enhanced, radar capabilities for U.S. Navy ships to detect air and surface targets and potential missile threats. The Optima Stantron equipment cabinet selected for the program embodies the core principles of this critical, next-generation radar system. Among the stringent AMDR program requirements are hardware modularity and scalability that enable a growth path for technology insertion and performance enhancements throughout the lifecycle of the radar equipment. The ability to withstand environmental and man-made impacts across different operating environments as well as the use of open architecture are also mandates of the program. Shan Morgan, president of Elma Electronic Inc., parent company of Optima Stantron, noted, ”Today’s warfare systems are already looking towards tomorrow’s requirements. Not only do our rugged cabinets and racks guarantee the protection, relia...