Epoch for Windows heads to space

Integral Systems Inc. of Lanham, Md., is releasing a version of its Epoch satellite management software for Microsoft Windows platforms. Originally developed for Unix, Epoch provides command, control and analysis for operating satellites.

'There is fairly deep skepticism over whether Windows is robust enough' for mission-critical tasks, said Steve Chamberlain, chief executive officer of Integral Systems. 'There used to be the same skepticism about Unix. We've benchmarked the software and found it to be very fast and very stable.'

The Windows version will cut development costs for new satellite management systems with cheaper commercial software and hardware, Chamberlain said. It could also streamline the transfer of operational data from Epoch to other applications that run under Windows, such as Excel and PowerPoint.

'There's a huge wealth of third-party software for Windows that either you can't get at all for Unix or is grotesquely expensive,' Chamberlain said.

The Air Force, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and intelligence agencies use Epoch for satellite operations. About 85 percent of the company's sales are from the federal government, Chamberlain said.

Epoch will come out in the first half of next year for Windows NT, 2000 and XP, concurrently with a new Unix version, Epoch 4.0, Chamberlain said. It will cost about $10,000 per copy.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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