The Evolution of Manned Space Avionics

Myron Kayton

Abstract: Manned space avionics have evolved from the simple analog system that was installed in the X-15 to the redundant, digital navigation and flight control system with s- and K-band radio that is installed in the Shuttle. The early X-15 had an analog inertial navigator, no radio navaids, one controlstick operating the control surfaces, and another operating the reaction jets. The X-15 had one UHF voice radio channel and a 1000-point instrumentation and telemetry system. Flights were controlled from a small room at Edwards Air Force Base with the aid of a radar. The X-15 led directly to the Space Shuttle when the technology of fault-tolerant electronics permitted an unpowered spacecraft to make an assured landing at a preselected airfield. This paper describes the avionic systems (flight controls, communications, navigation, guidance, displays, and instrumentation) of the X-15, vostok, Mercury, Voskhod, Gemini, Soyuz, Salyut, Skylab, Shuttle and Spacelab.
Published in: Proceedings of the 1984 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation
January 17 - 19, 1984
San Diego, CA
Pages: 47 - 47
Cite this article: Kayton, Myron, "The Evolution of Manned Space Avionics," Proceedings of the 1984 National Technical Meeting of The Institute of Navigation, San Diego, CA, January 1984, pp. 47-47.
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