June 30, 2020. Pittsburgh, PA.
Pittsburgh startup Astrobotic Technology, Inc. has been awarded a contract by NASA for an uncrewed lunar mission, currently scheduled for a Summer 2021 launch, and has selected local engineering firm Software Design Solutions, Inc. (SDS) to provide electronics and software engineering services in support of their mission.
Astrobotic will be sending their Peregrine lunar lander to the surface of the Moon carrying dozens of different payloads from a variety of sources. The payloads to be delivered are widely varied, each serving a different science, exploration, or commercial purpose. The lander must not only navigate to and safely land on the lunar surface, but once there it must be able to operate the various payloads, providing power and communications services unique for each payload. The hardware systems to support this mission involve multiple subsystems with complex electronics.
SDS was engaged by Astrobotic to design and build hardware and software to support rigorous testing of the individual circuit boards before assembly, and to conduct system-level testing afterward. SDS is an excellent fit for this task as its decades of hardware, software, and mechanical engineering experience are all required for this particularly challenging project – and as a fellow Pittsburgh-area firm, SDS can easily collaborate with the Astrobotic design team in their facility when needed.
Software Design Solutions, an Applied Visions company, is extremely proud to be part of our nation’s return to the lunar surface, and to be part of the growing landscape of private space travel. “This is an extremely complex undertaking, and we are proud that the Pittsburgh tech community is leading the way back to the Moon,” said Ed Kuzemchak, CTO of SDS. “SDS is honored to be part of the Astrobotic team, and our engineers are excited to contribute to this historic mission.”
“Astrobotic is pleased to select Software Design Solutions for this important role. When the U.S. returns to the lunar surface for the first time in nearly 50 years, it will be Steel City companies like Astrobotic and SDS making it happen,” agrees John Thornton, founder and CEO of Astrobotic. SDS parent company Applied Visions also has deep roots on New York’s Long Island, a region rich in contribution to our aerospace heritage, and from which the Grumman Apollo Lunar Module entered the history of space travel. “We recently commemorated the 50th anniversary of our first landing on the Moon,” said Frank Zinghini, founder of AVI, “a journey that began here on Long Island. It’s an honor to now be part of the vibrant Pittsburgh tech community, where our long-overdue return to the lunar surface will originate.”