--Satellite's analog circuits emulate nervous system--
A new type of attitude-control system will be put to the test this
August when it is launched into orbit as
part of the Swedish Hugin satellite. The new board, developed by
researchers at Los Alamos National
Laboratory, comes directly out of research that uses analog electronics to simulate the nervous systems of
real animals. The first stage of the work involved robust electronic "creatures" that could crawl, slither and exist in such a lifelike way that visitors to the lab averse to real bugs and spiders were loath to handle them. In Hugin, the system will allow the Swedish satellite to track the position of the sun--important because it will supply the energy the craft will rely on to recharge its batteries.