European Space Agency

ON BOARD PROCESSORS FOR REGENERATIVE PAYLOADS (ARTES AT 5C.383)

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Status

ISSUED

EMITS REFERENCE

Program

CC for Advanced Tech

Price Range

> 500 KEURO

Description

The objective of this activity is to design, manufacture and test an On-board Processor (OBP) for the use in regenerative payloads in LEO constellations.

Targeted Improvements: Increase the processing power of on-board regenerative processors by 20%.

Description: The current generation of regenerative processors for the GEO SATCOM market are usually based on rad-hard Digital SignalProcessor(DSP) or Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technologies, which provide a moderate level of in-orbit flexibility (or even none ifanti-fuse FPGAs are used). In Low Earth Orbit (LEO) constellation applications, which are characterised by a milder radiation environment and a shorter mission lifetime, benefit could be taken from other high performance processing technologies developed for terrestrial applications. Such technologies could enable significant performance improvement and highly integrated on-board-processors (OBP).

Signal processing capabilities on ground have grown exponentially in the past years, enabling current handheld product families to have moreprocessing power than big desktop devices. This has been achieved by the use of new technologies, such as cutting-edge DSPs, FPGAs, GraphicProcessor Units (GPU), and a higher integration of functions. In particular, the novel use of GPUs - originally designed for graphic handling - isenabling very efficient parallel signal processing. Moreover, highly integrated, reliable System on Chip (SoC) solutions based on GPUs for automotiveapplication could be compatible with LEO applications.

In this activity, emerging processing technologies and techniques will be studied and their suitability for LEO applications assessed, targeting, inparticular, the constellation domain. A regenerative on-board-processor breadboard exploiting suitable state of the art terrestrial technologies will bedesigned, manufactured and tested. The breadboard shall include both hardware and software acquisition and processing functions.

Tender Specifics