Grand Rapids company creates new technology for Artemis II

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — As NASA regroups after another failed attempt to launch its powerful rocket to the new moon last weekend, a West Michigan company says that as long as that happens, they will support its success.

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“We’ll be watching, animating the launch and probably imagining what this will look like in 2024 when we have our modules on board,” said Danche Gjorgjiebski, senior engineering manager at DornerWorks.

DornerWorks, a Grand Rapids-based technology engineering company, is developing a piece of technology that is expected to be on board the Artemis II mission in 2024.

According to the company, several devices in the pod will be equipped with radiation-hardened ethernet switches, the first of their kind in the universe.

Commenting allows astronauts to communicate with their team, scroll through social media, or send a message to their families.

“A traditional ethernet switch is the size of a large pizza box and we, our talented engineers, have been able to take that functionality and put it on a chip the size of your thumb,” said Gregg Wildes, business development at DornerWorks. director. “The ability to do… Gigabyte Ethernet, high-speed networking, with the reliability you need in space is a step up in performance.”

Before the development, Wildes says astronauts used slower technology to connect their devices.

“As you can imagine, in a spacecraft where size, weight and power are very important, special chips can help you do things smaller, with less power and doing that data processing, in this case doing the On-board Ethernet network. the space capsule,” Wildes said.

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DornerWorks began working with NASA on this project in 2019.

Some of the challenges included meeting rigorous size and content requirements, but the company believes its successful implementation could translate well to other industries.

“Working on something that we know can have a huge impact, it’s very rewarding and it’s one of those things where you want to work hard and deliver on time and with great quality,” said Gjorgjiebski. “On the other hand, as I mentioned before, it’s also a big responsibility, so there’s nothing we’ve left unresolved in terms of making sure we’ve tested it properly and if there are any issues, we’ve resolved them in time. .”

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