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26 February 2019

IEEE Aerospace Conference

STAR-Dundee’s attendance at conferences and trade shows in 2019 began with the IEEE Aerospace Conference in Big Sky Montana, which started on March 2nd. Our CTO presented a paper titled “SpaceFibre Interfaces and Architectures” on the 3rd,  while at our booth we demonstrated our latest SpaceWire and SpaceFibre developments, including a new version of our SpaceFibre Router with 12 ports, and the SpaceFibre Camera, featuring a radiation-tolerant (RTG4) FPGA. Images were shown being transferred from the SpaceFibre Camera, over a SpaceFibre network, through the SpaceFibre Router, and received on a PC using the STAR Fire Mk3. The USB 3.0 interface on this unit allows the images to be received at data rates in excess of 1 Gbit/s. At the same time, a slower data feed was routed from SpaceWire to SpaceFibre and then back to SpaceWire. It is straightforward to add SpaceWire traffic into a SpaceFibre network using our SpaceFibre Router, as it offers both SpaceFibre and SpaceWire ports.

Other events where you can meet our team this year and see these great demos include:

11 January 2019

Working for STAR-Dundee

We are once again recruitiing to expand our team in Dundee and are looking for Electronic Engineers, a PCB Designer and a Mechanical Engineer.  If you'd like to work in the space industry, for a company that values its employees, based in Scotland's first UNESCO City of Design, then please send us your CV.

Further details on each role are available at the links below:

The jobs are also being advertised by the IET, Space Careers and SpaceCareers.uk.

18 December 2018

History of STAR House Report

Since 2012, STAR-Dundee's team in Dundee have been based in STAR House, a 19th century building in the centre of Dundee. In 2018, the building celebrates its 200th anniversary, having been built in 1818 for James Gray, a merchant and magistrate of Dundee.

We are very grateful to Vivienne Dunstan, the wife of one of our colleagues, who has put together a “History of 166 Nethergate, Dundee, and its inhabitants from 1818 until 2018”. Viv has gone to great lengths to find out about each of the occupants of the building and the changes that have been made to the building over its lifetime.

STAR-Dundee bought the building in 2011 from the University of Dundee and we spent a year renovating it before moving in in the summer of 2012. As well as ensuring it was fit for our needs as a company developing spacecraft technology, we also tried to ensure the building retained its original character. This meant restoring many features which had been covered up or removed, and we now have beautiful wooden floors which were previously covered, while all the windows in the building have been restored to their original Georgian style.

Thanks to Viv’s work, we can now compare the building in its current state to the original plans and the old photos that she has unearthed.

We are very proud of our roots in Dundee and our home in STAR House. Due to its unique character, photos of the building appear in many of our tweets, and it provides a welcoming environment for both employees and visitors alike.

Happy Birthday STAR House!

5 November 2018

On 20th October 2018, at 01:45 UT, the BepiColombo mission to Mercury launched from Kourou, French Guiana.  BepiColombo consists of two main spacecraft, both of which make extensive use of SpaceWire for onboard data handling, plus a propulsion module using an ion thruster for the seven year voyage to Mercury orbit.

This joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will be the third mission to explore Mercury, following on from NASA’s Mariner 10 (1973) and Messenger (2004).  The European module, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), and the Japanese module, the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will spend at least one year studying Mercury, one of the most mysterious and little understood planets in our Solar System.

It’s hoped that the observations of the planet’s surface and internal structure, and of its unusually strong magnetic field, will help improve theories of the origin and evolution of our Solar System, and also of the likely nature of planetary systems around other stars.

All of us at STAR-Dundee would like to congratulate the BepiColombo team on the successful development and launch of the mission, and we are grateful for the small part we were able to play in this.

3 September 2018

WBS V

Over several years, STAR-Dundee has developed a range of Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) based wideband spectrometers (WBS). The latest of these, WBS V, is a prototype flight board designed in a radiation tolerant FPGA, the Microsemi RTG4. Implemented in the RTG4 is a 1024-point FFT based spectrometer offering processing power in the region of 100 GOPS, enabling operation at 2.4 Gsamples/s.

On Wednesday the 5th of September 2018, STAR-Dundee will be delivering a presentation and poster at the UK National Earth Observation Conference in Birmingham, describing some of the technical details of the WBS V and the unique scientific research that it is being used to perform. The presentation is being held in Room G3 at 10:24, while the poster will be presented from 17:00 to 19:00 in the Great Hall.

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