Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to Use Smartronix’ Rugged Universal Serial Bus (USB) 3.0 Hub in Camera System of NASA’s Mars 2020 Rover

​Smartronix' Mission Assured® solutions to go from 'Global to Galactic'

Hollywood, MD – 14 June 2017 – Smartronix announced plans to deliver a SuperSpeed ruggedized universal serial bus (USB) 3.0 hub to the California Institute of Technology managed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, CA, for use in the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) camera system of the Mars 2020 rover, which is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program.

Smartronix' rugged USB3.0 Hub™ is a small mountable device with four downstream USB ports that will physically connect the rover's multiple cameras, providing high-definition video feeds to its central computer. The hub will be designed to be protected physically and electronically for improved survivability in harsh conditions yet operate at a SuperSpeed bit rate up to 5 Gb/sec.

Smartronix plans to deliver the rugged USB3.0 Hub™ units to JPL by early 2018, some of which will be used for preliminary testing purposes. The units will be certified to withstand excessive vibration and shock for the extreme conditions of Mars and the case of a hard landing on the planet's surface.

The Smartronix rugged USB2.0 Hub is the first USB hub designed to work in the harshest of environmental conditions and currently is being used in mission-critical situations by U.S. military personnel around the world. "We realize that with this new endeavor our focus now changes from global to galactic," said Smartronix Director of Products, Mr. Rich Newberry. "Needless to say, we are excited to be a part of this historic mission."

The Mars 2020 rover EDL camera system will provide video feed of the rover's entry into the Martian atmosphere and a first-person view of the descent and landing on the surface of Mars. The video feed will assist in a new landing technique that compares what is being shown to a known orbital map of Mars' terrain, thus improving navigation to the intended location and avoiding dangerous terrain.

The Mars 2020 rover is expected to be launched in July or August of 2020 when the two planets are in the most favorable positions to each other for landing on Mars. The purpose of the mission is to investigate habitable conditions for future human expeditions and to uncover evidence of past microbial life.

About the NASA 2020 Rover:

About Smartronix:

Smartronix, Inc. is a U.S. based, information technology and engineering solutions provider specializing in Cloud Computing, Cyber Security, Health IT, Network Operations, and Mission-Focused Engineering. Founded in 1995 and headquartered in Maryland, Smartronix has more than 10 operating offices with approximately 600 employees throughout the U.S. and at strategic locations worldwide.