Frontgrade GR712RC Microprocessor Selected by Argotec for Multiple Space Missions

Gothenburg, SwedenCAES, a leader in advanced mission-critical electronics for aerospace and defense, is pleased to announce it has been chosen by Argotec, an Italian aerospace engineering company, to provide its radiation hardened GR712RC dual-core LEON3FT SPARC V8 Microprocessor on several key space missions. Argotec selected the CAES microprocessor for its reliability and capability.

The GR712RC is a dual-core LEON3-FT SPARC V8 processor, with advanced interface protocols, dedicated for high reliability rad-hard aerospace applications. Its fault tolerant features from CAES Gaisler and RadSafeTM technology from Ramon Chips Ltd. enable superior radiation hardness and excellent low-power performance.

Argotec’s LICIACube (Light Italian CubeSat for Imaging of Asteroids), a six-unit CubeSat from the Italian Space Agency, was an important part of NASA’s Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which successfully took place in late September 2022. LICIACube communicated directly with Earth, sent back images and is the first purely Italian autonomous spacecraft in deep space. LICIACube’s onboard computer utilizes the GR712RC Microprocessor as its Central Processing Unit (CPU).

“The GR712RC was chosen for its wide variety of external interfaces and low typical power consumption, as well as its excellent radiation performance, which is necessary for critical space applications, most importantly in deep space,” said Alessandro Balossino, the R&D Unit Head at Argotec. “Argotec investigated LEON processors in the past and chose the GR712RC for its high performance, lower power, and increased processing capability.“

NASA's upcoming Moon-orbiting mission, Artemis I, will also utilize the GR712RC. ArgoMoon, a micro-satellite developed by Argotec that employs the GR712RC as its CPU, will perform autonomous visual-based proximity operations around the in-space stage of the propulsion system to send the Orion spacecraft on a lunar trajectory.

“CAES has a long line of proven LEON technology with a diverse legacy of successful missions including the Argotec LICIACube on DART,” said Mike Elias, Vice President and General Manager, CAES Space Division. “We are very proud of our flight heritage and look forward to the future success of our microprocessors on a variety of missions with Argotec.”

About CAES
CAES is a pioneer of advanced electronics for the most technologically challenging defense and aerospace trusted systems. As the largest provider of mixed-signal and radiation-hardened technology to the United States aerospace and defense industry, CAES delivers high-reliability RF, microwave and millimeter wave, microelectronic and digital solutions that enable our customers to ensure a safer, more secure planet. On land, at sea, in the air, in space and in cyberspace, CAES’ extensive electronics and enhanced manufacturing capabilities are at the forefront of mission-critical military and aerospace innovation.

About Argotec
Argotec is based in Turin, Italy, and designs, develops, assembles and operates space products that combine reliability with top performance. Its products are used by several international space agencies and commercial partners. In addition to its unique microsatellite platform, it provides instruments and services that make life better for astronauts.