Submicron: Zelenograd board computer flying into space

In October 2010 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launched a new series of manned spacecraft "Soyuz TMA-01 M" — the first Russian ship which has become digitally: managing the digital on-board computer provides CVM-101, developed in Zelenograd SRI "Submicron".

Interview Vyacheslav Grishin, deputy director for science FSUE "SRI" Submicron ", Zelenograd enterprise which is engaged in, including the development of space-based sensors.

Vyacheslav, please explain what the essence of the news of the first digital domestic spacecraft — did so a big step in the history of the Russian space industry?

— This run ended with a series of works on digital platform control computers for the manned space that SRI "Submicron" held for more than a decade. "Submicron" participates in the development of on-board digital control computers for spacecraft since 1980 — our computers and systems based on them were used in many spacecraft from the space station "Mir". And in the "Soyuz TMA-01 M" used our developed digital platform control computers of the new generation. The first sample of the digital on-board computer of the series was set on the descent capsule in 2003 — then came the term "gentle slope", that's the thing that provided our computer KS-020M. Then, in a series of spacecraft "Progress-M" flew the first computers CVM-101. The same computer is used in the "Soyuz TMA-M".

Why, then, this is called the first ship, which is equipped with CVM-101?

— This is the first ship of the program "Soyuz" 700 series, in which analog computing elements mostly replaced by digital. In addition, before it was launched seven cargo ship "Progress" 400 series with those same computers, and only after the positive results of this validation of a new computer be able to run the astronauts with the same machine without undue risk. Thus, to date, all of the control system of Russian manned program include computers designed and constructed at the Research Institute "Submicron."

So your part in the development of different systems that control not only cargo ships, but also the processes of sustaining life in space?

— Yes, cargo and passenger ships, the landing vehicles … The whole complex spacecraft is now focused on the use of the machine in its composition CVM-101.

Media reported that the launch of the on-board computer has freed the ship in 70 kg for cargo. Previous analog bortkompyuter was so big and heavy?

— Take into account that past development computer SRI "Argon" for 50 years anniversary. We must pay tribute to the genius of its developers, because this computer is in our manned space program has been used for 50 years and just now replaced by the CVM-101. And to use the 70 kilogram can be different — whether it will be an additional astronaut, astronaut, or some other kind of payload, it's up to the operator.

This means that a cosmonaut could be sent into space by the fact that bortkompyuter replaced?

— If a little, yes.

And some technical innovations he brought with him? Although, in general, we now begin to conduct an educational program because it's probably not a very good idea of what to do astronauts face …

— New computer provides great flexibility in controlling the spacecraft in various modes, which may be required in flight. This removes a number of existing restrictions on maneuvering the ship. And the programs themselves maneuvers can be changed by loading them in flight from Earth.

The cosmonauts it somehow make life easier?

— Yes, of course. Astronaut will have less to think and act in stressful situations where the probability of pilot error. During the pilot to think and act will have a computer.

A domestic element base, which was mentioned in the news, used in this Board Computer — whose element base, whether it is made in Zelenograd?

— Yes, here it is necessary to make such a focus: RI "Submicron" develops equipment for the control of spacecraft computing systems, with an emphasis on domestic electronic component base. It is crucial for the work that we do. Our main partners are: "Angstrom" NPK "Technological Center MIET", "Micron" Design Center "Elvis." These four partners, I would note first of all, because it is their element base and our combined ideas formed the basis of the decisions that have been introduced in this car, CVM-101.

So, really, the whole computer filling the spaceship made in Zelenograd?

— Yes, and that was our goal. We were preparing technology prepared some special circuit techniques, element base, put process technologies in order to implement all of this and integrate. For us, this new generation of technology that we now introduce a spacecraft. And this implementation is already there — for example, in the stand-loop automatic spacecraft "Resource-P" is a computer, which we have done on the basis of the clone CVM-101. In the main loop control, use a computer "Salute 5M" developed by other Zelenograd enterprise — JSC "eLAC."

For us it is the latest technology. Is it possible to compare it — and did you make such a comparison — with the same board computer in foreign space ships? Or this information is closed and there is no such possibility? ..

— In general, space is extremely conservative industry. Because the solutions that are used to build the spacecraft, as a rule, must have high reliability and give confidence that this technique will not give up tomorrow and will operate reliably for a long time.

And the introduction of new there are treated with great caution?

— Yes. Comparison of our results with those of, for example, the well-known German company "Astrium", specializing in the field of space computer systems shows that these results are the same level. The high level of development of SRI "Submicron" evidence and our participation in the international community computer manufacturers. There are projects that we, together with the firm "Astrium" sell contracts of the European Community.

The history of "sub-micron"

From what your business has grown in Zelenograd? In our city, because, as a rule, all present similar organizations were formed out of some larger businesses Soviet-era …

— The story of our company is quite interesting. At the time, the leader of the development of computer technology for spacecraft was the NGO "Elas". Collective "submicron" was created in opposition to those programs that led a "Elas", in order to create a competitive environment in the development of similar products, digital computer technology.

It was somehow arbitrary decision — creating competition?

— Yes, that's right. Then there was a very famous chief designer of the spacecraft, Dmitry I. Kozlov. He was a friend and colleague Sergei Korolev and engaged in the creation of spacecraft remote sensing of the Earth. And, at his suggestion, in the early 80's was created by our team — he was given the task to create a fault-tolerant on-board computers …

Creation of a "sub-micron" dates back to 1989, the year, so they say on their website …

— The core of the team went out of business "Specialized computer center" and were collected at the Research Institute "Science Center". In 2000, as a result of the reorganization NIINTS this team together with all contracts transferred to Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Research Institute&qu
ot; Submicron. "

You say that it was a conscious decision in the Soviet era to create competition between companies to achieve the best results? Even before perestroika?

— Actually, yes. You know, in Soviet times, was laid a lot of good and interesting solutions, the feasibility of which we know only today. This is one of those decisions, which, I think, was quite competently implemented in those years.

Why such a name — "Submicron"? In Zelenograd is "Micron" — it turns out you sort of "Micron" grew up?

— Submicron — a unit of measurement of less than a micron. We have many businesses in Zelenograd their names are focused on achieving high results — a "Micron", "Submicron", "Angstrom".

Well, yes. A "Submicron" going to make the element base smaller, submicron? In those days it was a move similar to today's transition from micro-to nano-electronics?

— When creating a "sub-micron" one of its functions was to conduct research in the field of nanotechnology. That is it, really, everything goes back there. But in the 90 years during the overhaul funding ceased, the staff of the old "submicron" collapsed, and in 2000, we formed a new band with their competences and tasks. However, due to a number of known causes of this line was closed and the company switched to another promising direction. But the origins of the enterprise were nanotechnology.

I read in your story that you have thought about the full cycle of production of microelectronic engineering from the silicon wafer to finished equipment. This did not work?

— Yes, it did not happen. As a result of restructuring processes that have occurred in the 90 years we have focused on a narrow direction — development of computer technology for real-time systems, mainly focused on space and aviation.

There was even a time when you are engaged in consumer goods? Electronic cards for payments …

— This line has been realized in a joint Russian-German venture ZAO "body" in a very small scale. But until now, our company has a bushing made using readers for blanks, which we have developed ourselves. There are some things, but it is at the level of crafts, I'd say. They have not found widespread adoption or sale.

And now you are in direct space, the creation of components for on-board computers, systems of new generation for space, air and underwater technology?

— Yes, that's right — under the brand name "Submicron" was developed for the control computer station "Mir", which spent 15 years in orbit, a number of computers for aircraft and so on.

It's not just space, but we will say so, military vehicles? Or not only the military?

— Not only the military. In principle, the main part of our business, of course, is national defense order, the order RosKosmos. But, if you look at the developments that we do — we do control computers and computer equipment. Computer — he's varied as to where to put it: in the car, on the plane, the spacecraft on a submarine. It is connected only with certain types of modifications, adaptations under certain modes of operation. A tailor is easy enough if there is a good idea, if there is its own production, which we implement it. What we are doing. We have some good ideas on the development of advanced computers on the domestic element base for each area of application.

Is there some kind of commercial interest in these computers is built on the domestic element base?

— Yes, in critical applications. For example, in control systems for nuclear power plants in the financial systems, and systems responsible decision-making, where mistakes and failures can lead to serious or even catastrophic consequences — that is, the market spetsuslug. With personal computers we compete very difficult, almost impossible. This is a very serious business, in which it is necessary to invest billions of dollars, that we just are not ready. Not only "Submicron", but the whole country. So we are on the market do not even try to get out.

Government programs and funding: Federal Space Program, GLONASS, "RUSNANO" and the world market

You remain FSUE State Unitary Enterprise …

— According to the presidential decree from December 28, 2010, we have become a public company.

I just wanted to ask what the benefits of the status of Federal State Unitary Enterprise, and you have become a public company. The state is now well funded space research in their programs?

— You know, if before we proceeded from the fact that the state finances itself as much as it is necessary to keep employees, today the money has to "get" with great difficulty — and "down" and "head", to defend his point of view, convinced of the rightness of his ideas and approach that you're the one and only, the best.

Hence, the federal space program — it's not a stable piece of bread?

— This is not a stable piece of bread, for it must be fought, wanting this piece a lot, it was not enough. So we try to work within our leave and on the world market, that is, the level of service the European Space Agency and other space agencies in the framework of the competence that we have. We think that our work will be demanded.

Research and studies

It will be business services, finance your designs from other sources?

— We only build such plans. We have a first grant, in which we set such a relationship, and still do not know how this will end — we just know that that market, which is in Russia, for further development, we, of course, is not enough. And the competition it's quite strong and increasing each year.

You're talking about a foreign grant?

— Yes, grant foreign.

And you had no contact with the "RUSNANO" about possible investments, or your design can not be related to nanotechnology in any way?

— Contact we have, but collaborations yet.

No prospects, too, no?

— Talk is. Where will it end … In my head there are some plans, we discuss them with unpredictable results, and I do not know how seriously. We are just in the course of several works that pass, and in which we could have something to offer and think. But none of us is now quite large, so we are very, shall we say, do not persist.

You could use in their designs in some way the same nanoelectronic component base, which will appear on the "Micron", on "Angstrem" and come out with such a project?

— We have today laid out a conceptual plan for the development of our company to the 2020-2022 period. And he thought with a view of the plans, which are at the Ministry of Industry and Trade, which involve developers new elements, such as "Angstrom", "Micron" and design centers. On the basis of the program of development of electronic component on the basis of possible projects we build on-board computer systems, and participate in future developments. One of the most promising developments for us — this cargo ship piloted by a new generation with a term of the year in 2016-2017.

You mentioned on the website as the direction "of aviation equipment management system of satellite communication, identification and navigation." For such a popular project as GLONASS, you have something to do?

— Yes, we are developing devices for consumers GLONASS system. These devices are used in a number of customer systems, which are now fairly well sold both serial production. In addition, spacecraft GLONASS-M, which is now started and the machine is a perspective GLONASS-K are also part of our modules control computer systems.

Zelenograd "Angstrom" at the recent **
ChipExpo-2010 ** represented at the booth Russian GLONASS chip, is more or less ready, as I understand it. You participated in its development, or is the development of the "Angstrom"?


— No, we did not participate in its development, it is really clean angstremovskaya development.

"Angstrom" recently announced that it will become a test center for GLONASS equipment. You are going to somehow work with them — to test their equipment? They have already made a proposal.

— We do not plan to create a new navigation system in the field of GPS or GLONASS national field, it is now quite active in itself "Angstrom" in the unit, which he created for this purpose. Although we help "Angstrem" in the development and production of a number of modules, we conduct some consultancy work, that is, our non-profit relationships in which we provide services for this project.

Personnel: "On average, our staff a little more than 30 years, and to work to discover even take students'

Moscow recently completed the third annual city contest "Keeping shift," where determined the best organization that provides jobs for the temporary employment of students. And you have the best organization, took third place in Moscow in this competition. What kind of jobs, what can you do to engage young people in school?

— We work at the enterprise, and students of schools, high school students. We prefer to take students from the second year. To date, the backbone of professional software development, circuit design consists of specialists who have completed 3-4 years ago, Moscow Institute of Electronic Technology, they started working with us from the second year. And students have just become familiar with the company performing some simple work

But it works on the computer?

— The computer is used to, mainly for paperwork. We strive to have them as long as there was a general idea of what engineers do, what do the experts at work. We think this will be enough, and if they have formed an interest, they will go to university or college profile, and then we are happy to take them to work. We already operates several generations of professionals who come all this way …

Literally from the students?

— Yes. And we have a great social program, we help employees in all the way of development — is to obtain permits, payment of education of children and everything else that is included in the program of the Moscow government. We implement all these programs and enjoy working with young people. And there is a reverse reaction: of those who come all this way, we have virtually no one left work. That is, we are each other very much interested.

We heard feedback on your social programs — was a competition the best companies for working mothers, there is also the name of "sub-micron" sounded very much among the winners. In our survey, you praised your employee. So you're a young company? What is the average age of the employees?

— The average age of our really small, it is a little more than 30 years. We have a gap in age anywhere from 35 to 45 years — we have almost a decade, and that all other age categories, we are well represented. We also have specialists who are over 70, and they are happy to work. We have a total of about 400 employees. We pay great attention to create comfortable working conditions — thus there is a big enough return, willingness to work, to get the result, a very friendly atmosphere and high performance. It is the policy pursued by our company under the leadership of director Vladimir G. Syrenko — he's a doctor of technical sciences, a talented specialist, a graduate of PTI, and cordially with us in high esteem.

By the way, if we talk about who we take to their work, our base — is MIET, but the guys from work and MIPT, Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, Moscow State University.

MIETovtsev you prefer, or is it a graduate of Moscow State University, Moscow Engineering Physics?

— We need both of them. Of course, it is easier to MIET. In MIET is our base department of quality management, which is headed by our director.

You ck Azalea that most of your development is done for special equipment. Related to the work you have to give employees some level of tolerance, so that they are not "the departing" — there is now yet?

— I have three weeks ago, returned from the Netherlands, with a meeting of the working group of the European Space Agency on a number of issues and joint projects. We have not come across with some restrictions.

I will return to school children — you do not invite them to your tour? Now in Zelenograd have such a program in which students go on trips to different companies.

— Excursions has not happened. But we have something to show you. I think that when students come, look at the latest equipment for the production of space rocket technology would take and how it is developed, how and on what the engineers are working, it is going to be very interesting. All these computers, CAD — they are, I think, quite interesting and entertaining. And the very equipment, on-board computers that are everywhere, in all kinds of technology …

If for any school you turn, you will spend for their tour?

— Let addressed.

You said that the students take on some jobs, temporary, maybe. How to you can get — in any organization, the employment center, or directly?

— We have a personnel department to handle them.

Willing to come to you students of MIET? Basic Quality Management Department — Faculty etmo it, we just recently talked with the dean of the faculty. Do many students come to the practice from there, those who are studying for a degree of quality management?

— We even have a contest of wanting to get to work with us on the part of students, alumni — and we have many to choose from. It is an informal competition, we have to hire employees as needed when there is a new job. We just know that we have the reserves, and when we take the new job, we understand that we can quickly and efficiently gather and mobilize them to a team that will cope with these tasks. And every year we are expanding our production volume and the production of, and in the tasks we take more and more interesting projects in the field of computer science.

"Space — no more heroics, but soon the whole manned space left on our shoulders, including — in the development of Zelenograd enterprises"

To work for you, you must, in a sense, "sick" space, or have a purely technical problem that can be solved without regard to their future use?

— We have those and other problems. Everyone can find us interesting work. And best of all, if the work he likes. So someone wants to be a programmer, someone circuitry, Someone wants to be a designer. And someone might want to become a master of high qualification. Everything is possible. There is a will and perseverance. Comes designer, he likes to do some complicated designs in CAD, and he makes them. And where they go into space or on the ground — he did not always asks himself this question. There are some limitations, of course, but it should in principle like to create a complex structure, which docks, which will be then implemented in the form of plastic, iron and so on. Someone knows how to run elektronchiki, he starts making scheme builds new solutions, such as fault tolerance, in which the prospect for many years, for 15 years …

And it is not even always clear where the development will result in a — in a submarine or in the sky?

— Not always. Typically, the correlation is then, in the process, when a person has already decided, and sees that the result can be claimed is adapted.

In general, how would
you rate the popularity of space themes in our society? I'm still getting to know the topic of conversation, I realized that I was for some reason very few know about it and I hear, actually.

— Here is the answer, in fact, to your question. Over the last 20 years in our country has considerably decreased interest in science, the industrial sector, the heroic achievements. But still, and again there are people for whom this is not an empty word. Both in science and in space, the more known and understood, the more the unknown horizon over which so wants to penetrate. I would say that now the space passed over in the practical application field. With the space we solve the problem of telecommunications, communications, surveys, photographs, studies of near space. If earlier it was a fundamental achievement, it was a heroic feat that made the astronauts, but now it's just a job. But there are new heroic task. For example, the creation of orbital plants, factories and refineries, the conquest of the moon, fly to other planets in the solar system. Study and exploration of deep space. It is, of course, is already moving into a stage routine, but she demanded. Yes, we do now, especially our generation, we think it would be a good idea to fly to Mars.

Yes, and who go to Mars, to send forever …

— Yes, there are those who are willing to risk a ticket one way — and that's great, actually.

Russia now has something to be proud of in terms of space?

— Yes, we still have leadership positions, they have not lost. Speaking of manned space, then after leaving "shuttles" from the arena, the entire manned space left on our shoulders. This is our computer and DVR-101, which is in the manned program — in the 12-16 year starts — this "truck" and "union", which will fly to the ISS. Desire to support the ISS as part of the international community is, and big enough. This decision has already been made, and by 2018 our technique, the "union" and "progress" should support the work of this station.

Brilliant. And it is very good that Zelenograd can be proud in this regard.

— Yes, we always stress that this achievement throughout the Zelenograd cooperative that works in this direction. Indeed, in the computer CVM-101 000 components and just maybe, a thousand first component was not Russian, but this thousand uniquely designed and manufactured at our facilities. And this very supercomplex computer is designed, manufactured and tested at the factory Zelenograd Research Institute "Submicron"

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