Research Projects

All the research projects that the Space Technology Centre has been involved in are described below:

Digital Interface Circuit Evaluation

The work at Dundee on SpaceWire began with the Digital Interface Circuit Evaluation (DICE) contract from ESA for which Dundee was prime contractor, with support from Dornier Satellitensysteme in Germany (now EADS Astrium GmbH) and Patria Finavitec Oy in Finland. This research project initially considered the drivers and receiver devices that should be used with IEEE-1355 devices for space applications.  It then examined cables and connectors and reviewed the IEEE-1355 standard. Deficiencies in IEEE-1355 were identified and overcome, eventually resulting in the SpaceWire standard.

Advanced Payload Processing

The ESA Advanced Payload Processing study aimed to develop a highly modular payload processing architecture for use on future satellites. The Space Systems Research Group at Dundee provided consultancy support to the prime contractor Dornier Satellitensysteme (now Astrium GmbH) for this study in the areas of multi-processor DSP systems and routing switch architectures for SpaceWire.

LIDAR-ILT

The LIDAR-ILT research was done as a sub-contractor to EADS Astrium SAS. The aim of this work was to extend PANGU scanning LIDAR sensor to support a different type of scanning pattern designed for a surface rover vehicle. In contrast to the original LIDAR-GNC scanner, the ILT system performs sinusoidal scans on sub-windows of the full field of view.

After each scan is completed the system moves to an adjacent sub-window and scans in the opposite direction to minimise scanner movement. Within each scanning window the horizontal motion of the laser varies sinusoidally while the vertical motion is linear. Although each scan is expected to take several seconds in real time, the sensor simulation takes into account spacecraft motion during the scanning interval. PANGU models and the LIDAR simulation have been integrated in a guidance and navigation control system prototype by Astrium.

SpaceWire CODEC IP - Actel Implementation

The SpaceWire CODEC IP Actel implementation is an ESA managed project to provide an implementation of the SpaceWire CODEC IP VHDL model to the Actel RTAX and RTSX FPGA series devices. The Actel RTAX and RTSX devices are radiation tolerant versions of the AX and SX commercial FPGAs which provide protection against single event effects (SEE). RTAX and SX devices use anti-fuse (program once) technology, are protected from single event latch-up (SEL) and implement triple mode redundancy for each internal flip-flop to protect against single event upsets (SEU).

PlanetSim

Details coming soon.

Real-Time Embedded CORBA over SpaceWire (RECS)

To investigate effective DSP processor to SpaceWire integration, the University of Dundee has developed a DSP board using one of the latest DSP processors from Analog Devices and a SpaceWire router. The SpaceWire DSP board comprises an eight-port SpaceWire router connected to an Analog Devices 21160 SHARC (Super-Harvard ARChitecture) DSP processor. The 21160 processor has six SHARC links which are high-speed, half-duplex, bi-directional, point-to-point communication links designed to connect together several SHARC processors in a parallel processing array. These links form the bridge between the SHARC processor and the SpaceWire router. Data to be sent out from the DSP processor are formed into SpaceWire packets with an appropriate destination address header and the cargo (i.e. the data to be sent in the packet). The packet is then transmitted across the SHARC link to the SpaceWire router with an end of packet marker code being appended to the packet. Data is received in a similar way with the SpaceWire packet being transferred across the SHARC link.

Proof of Concept for "Software Developer's Right Hand"

The Software Developer's Right Hand is an innovative software development support environment which aims to improve software development productivity, software quality and software maintainability, and with automated documentation support. The project is funded by Scottish Enterprise through their Proof of Concept Programme.

SpaceWire Router ETD031

Details coming soon.

Multi-Purpose Vision Navigation

Details coming soon.

SpaceFibre

Details coming soon.