The James Webb Area Telescope is catching deep space on a 68GB SSD

With the James Webb Area Telescope (JWST) now powered up and snapping some magnificent images, you might question precisely how it’s keeping them. Remarkably enough, it brings a reasonably small 68GB SSD, according to IEEE Spectrum— adequate to deal with a day’s worth of JWST images, however not a lot more.

While that may sound ludicrously little for a $10 billion satellite, there are several factors NASA selected the system. To begin with, the JWST is a million miles from Earth where it gets bombarded by radiation and runs at a temperature level of less than 50 degrees above outright no (-370 degrees F). So the SSD, like all other parts, need to be radiation solidified and endure an intense accreditation procedure.

While not almost as quick as customer SSDs, it can still be almost completed as low as 120 minutes through the telescope’s 48 Mbps command and information managing subsystem (ICDH). At the very same time, the JWST can send information back to Earth at 28 Mbps through a 25.9 Ghz Ka-band connection to the Deep Area Network.

That suggests that while it gathers much more information than Hubble ever did (57GB compared to 1-2GB daily), it can move all that information back to Earth in about 4.5 hours. It does so throughout 2 4-hour contact windows every day, with each enabling the transmission of 28.6 GB of science information. To put it simply, it just requires adequate storage to gather a day’s worth of images– there’s no requirement to keep them on the telescope itself.

There is one puzzler, however. NASA approximates that just 60GB of storage will be readily available at the end of the JWST’s 10-year life-span due to use and radiation– and 3 percent of the drive is utilized for engineering and telemetry information storage. That will leave the JWST extremely little margin, making us question if it will have anywhere near the durability of Hubble– still going strong after 32 years.

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