Search Exo Cruiser

Jan 1, 2018

DSKY Hardware (Part 15, Apollo Control Systems)

[Since it looks like that DSKY is very popular with its companion LGC (or AGC) I add this article to fully cover the DSKY hardware (as it was 1966) in its detail. DSKY was a small and simple terminal device to today's standards. It was used by astronauts to communicate with the primary guidance computer programs. DSKY is interesting since it only had some latching relays to drive the segment displays and some simple transistor type logic to generate keycodes from the keyboard.

Today (2017) this device would be manufactured using maybe a single micro-controller and would be very simple. I am sure that even nowadays many astronauts would like to have a similar device to communicate with the guidance computer at least as a reserve device in case of some problem with the modern touch screens and high resolution displays. Its small size, simplicity and integration with the Apollo software and hardware will keep this device popular in the future also. Most of this material is from /1/. This text and drawings /1/ did have some differences with other documents but is anyway useful in its detail.

The AGC (and DSKY) was designed at the MIT Instrumentation Laboratory under Charles Stark Draper, with hardware design led by Eldon C. Hall. Early architectural work came from J.H. Laning Jr., Albert Hopkins, Richard Battin, Ramon Alonso, and Hugh Blair-Smith. The flight hardware was fabricated by Raytheon, whose Herb Thaler was also on the architectural team.

Eldon C. Hall

Most of these people can be seen in the following film