General Purpose Computers

GPC screen

The shuttle relies on computerized control and monitoring for successful performance. The data processing system, through the use of various hardware components and its self-contained computer programming (software), provides the vehicle with this monitoring and control.

The five general-purpose computers are used for computation and control of automated shuttle system.  The GPCs are used through all flight phases to monitor navigation and all shuttle systems.  The simulation includes the GCP switch control panel, three front panel CRTs. and front panel switches. 

The software is divided into major systems. The GNC system supports navigation and control during all flight phases. The SM system monitors all shuttle life support and power systems.  The software is further divided into major operating segments for each phase of the flight.  The following list shows the major modes. 

  • OPS 100 (Launch and Ascent)
  • OPS 200 (Orbit Operations)
  • OPS 300 (Reentry and Landing)
  • OPS 600 (Abort Operations)
  • OPS 800 (System Uploading and Testing)

The system also supports the backup flight system. This alternative software can take over during ascent or decent if their is a fault in the primary system.

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