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11 July 2017

STAR-Dundee Timeline 2002-2017

 

On the 5th of July, 2002, STAR-Dundee came in to existence. This month we are celebrating our 15th Birthday!

Our Chief Operating Officer Stuart Mills said:

‘I don’t think any of the company founders would have imagined how the company would grow in those 15 years, and the many successes we would have in that time. I’m sure they are all as proud as I am that, despite many changes, the company still maintains the same principles as we had when we were first established.’

We would like to share 15 of our highlights with you:

  1. On the 5th of July 2002 STAR-Dundee came in to existence and on the 30th of July STAR-Dundee spun out of the University of Dundee.
  2. On the 1st of December 2002 STAR-Dundee won a SMART Award from the Scottish Executive. This £45,000 grant was to help fund the development of a SpaceWire Link Analyser. Steve Parkes, was presented with the SMART award by Deputy First Minister and Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning Jim Wallace in Glasgow.
  3. On the 23rd of January 2003 the SpaceWire standard, ECSS E50-12A, was issued by the European Cooperation for Space Standardization.
  4. On the 18th of March 2005 the Space Technology Centre at the University of Dundee was opened by Lord Sainsbury.
  5. On the 22nd of May 2006 STAR-Dundee was awarded a second SMART Award to fund SpaceWire developments. Stuart Mills, STAR-Dundee's Chief Operating Officer, was presented with the award by Allan Wilson MSP, Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning, in Glasgow.
  6. On the 17th to 19th of September 2007 STAR-Dundee assisted in hosting the first SpaceWire Conference in Dundee.
  7. In February 2010 the remote memory access protocol (RMAP) standard was published.
  8. On the 15th of December 2011 STAR-Dundee started to sell licences for PANGU - Planet and Asteroid Natural scene Generation Utility, developed by our colleagues at the Space Technology Centre within the University of Dundee for the European Space Agency.
  9. On the 15th of May 2012 we moved to STAR House!
  10. On the 2nd of July 2012 we celebrated our 10th Birthday and Steve Parkes was honoured by the Royal Aeronautical Society in awarding him a Specialist Bronze Award for his instrumental role in the inception, development and continuing success of the SpaceWire Standard.
  11. On the 8th of Feburary 2013 we enjoyed a SpaceFibre Eureka moment, when we worked with engineers from Japan to test interoperability of independent implementations of SpaceFibre IP cores.
  12. On the 1st of November 2013 STAR-Dundee was awarded Business of the Year at the Courier Business Awards 2013 in Dundee.
  13. On the 11th of September 2014 STAR-Dundee was named Scottish Business of the year at the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Scottish Business Honours 2014.
  14. On the 10th to 12th of May 2016 STAR-Dundee Premiered SpaceFibre Multi-Laning at DASIA 2016.
  15. In July 2017 we celebrate our 15th Birthday and look forward to many more exciting things planned for 2017 and beyond!

16 June 2017

 

On the 20th of June 2017, STAR-Dundee is attending Microsemi Space Forum, Europe. Here we will be demonstrating the Multi-Lane interface implemented in the radiation-tolerant RTG4 FPGA. This demo will include two of our IP cores; SpaceFibre multi-laning and the SpaceFibre router. Alongside this we will demonstrate the RTG4 FPGA intergrated within the generic model of a network onboard a spacecraft. 

Find out more about our SpaceFibre Multi-lane IP cores here: https://www.star-dundee.com/knowledge-base/spacefibre-ip-cores or get in touch

For more informaton on the forum visit: https://www.microsemi.com/spaceforum/space-forum#overview

To acces the online North American event visit the Archive page here: http://www.microsemispaceforum.com/#/events 

An outline of the agenda can be seen below, look out for our Microsemi video and make sure to visit us in the Demo Room.  

Start Time  Session Title  Presenter 
9:00 Introduction and Welcome Address Ken O’Neill
9:15 RT FPGA Product Update Minh Nguyen
10:00 High Precision Frequency and Timing Solutions for Space Peter Cash
10:30 Break / Demo Room - visit us!  Microsemi & Partners including STAR-Dundee
11:00 Space Power and Point of Load Solutions Product Overview Chris Hart
11:45 RTG4 Power Hardware Reference Design Brian Wilkinson
12:15 Lunch / Demo Room- visit us!  Microsemi & Partners including STAR-Dundee
13:15 RT FPGA Radiation Characterization J.J. Wang
13:45  Mixed Signal Solutions for Space Dorian Johnson
14:30 Achieving Timing Closure for Maximum Performance in RTG4 FPGAs Hichem Belhadj
15:00 Break / Demo Room Microsemi & Partners including STAR-Dundee
15:30 Using DirectC and RISC-V to Reprogram RTG4 FPGAs Ken O’Neill
15:45  Next Generation Power Discretes Chris Hart
16:15  Space Application Focus Hichem Belhadj
16:45 Q&A session and Wrap up All
17:00 End of Conference All



13 June 2017

PANGU V4.01

PANGU v4.01 is now available complete with a variety of model scenarios ranging from synthetic surfaces, asteroids to the Moon and Mars. The experienced team at STAR-Dundee holds a variety of case studies and imagery generated by PANGU, and can work with you to find the right solution for your mission. 

PANGU v4.20 will soon be availible. 

What is PANGU?

PANGU is a software package primarily used for modelling and rendering astronomical bodies such as the Moon, Mars and asteroids, to support the design and testing of vision-guided spacecraft and landers. Developed by the University of Dundee with support from ESA, PANGU offers a high degree of realism while operating at near real-time speeds on modern desktop PCs with graphics cards that support OpenGL 4.0 and programmable GPU shaders.

PANGU can combine real data such as Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) representing whole planets, higher-resolution DEMs of landing site regions and synthetic terrain to create multi-resolution models that can simulate the full descent of a planetary lander. Standard DEM projections are supported as are combining whole planet models with DEMs and atmosphere models. The ability to manage large models (i.e. greater than 64 GB) enables full lander descents to be simulated to a high degree of realism, with resolution varying from kilometres at the start of the descent to centimetres around the target landing site. Asteroids can be simulated by either importing shape models or by generating fully synthetic asteroid models. 

The initial DEM can be obtained from instruments such as NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Laser Altimeter or ESA’s High Resolution Stereo Camera. Alternatively, a DEM with user-defined roughness can be generated by PANGU using fractal techniques.

Base DEMs can be interpolated with fractal detail to achieve a model resolution that is much higher than that of the original DEM. Realistic craters can be added using statistical models of properties such as age and diameter distribution; ageing factors ensure that the resulting craters match those observed in images of real terrain. Boulders and positive relief features can be added to the surface controlled by various statistical distributions. For models of Mars, barchan dune fields can be modelled and craters can have flat bottoms as if filled by dust. An albedo/colour map can be applied for extra realism. 

PANGU has the ability to generate camera, LIDAR and RADAR images from any position and orientation to support off-line and closed-loop simulations of planetary landing, surface roving and in-orbit rendezvous operations. The physics-based camera model includes features such as shot noise, thermal dark current, read-out noise, radiation events, photo-response non-uniformity and radial optical distortion. Pixel values can be represented at floating point precision or digitised to match ADCs with up to 16-bits. Integration with NAIF/SPICE allows images to be generated using publicly available historic and predicted data for planetary bodies and spacecraft, and the time of interest.

The practical applications of PANGU are as vast as the technology itself. From dynamic elements such as articulated rover vehicles to Martian scenes with movable dust devils, PANGU offers a realistic experience of bodies in our solar system.

Find out more about PANGU and add it to a quote request here: https://www.star-dundee.com/products/pangu-planet-and-asteroid-natural-scene-generation-utility 

Watch the following simulations to see PANGU in action: 

PANGU v4 simulation of part of a MEX/VMC orbit on 2010-May-27

PANGU v4 real-time simulation of the MSL Mars EDL on 2012-Aug-06

PANGU v4 simulation of a hypothetical Phobos lander mission on 2010-May-29

PANGU v4 simulation of a Lunar Lander descent onto Malapert mountain 2017-May-17

PANGU v4 simulation of Hayabusa/AMICA observing a rotation of Itokawa on 2005-Oct-01

PANGU - simulating planetary close encounters on ESA Youtube channel 

2 June 2017

While STAR-Dundee has been very busy out and about at SEE/MAPLD, DASIA and UK Space Conference we have been in the local and national press.

As part of The University of Dundee 50 year celebrations STAR-Dundee was featured in The Courier on the 19th of May 2017.  

The article written by Dundee University staff, Roddy Isles and Michael Alexander stated: 'Dundee has become an unlikely centre for space technology research and development – many of the satellites and shuttles launched into orbit have operate with SpaceWire circuitry designed and built here, the work of Professor Stephen Parkes and colleagues now commercialised in the shape of STAR-Dundee, a Courier Business of the Year.’ In 2013 we were awarded Courier Business of the year.

Find out more about which space missions are using SpaceWire here: https://www.star-dundee.com/knowledge-base/missions-using-spacewire 

On the same day we were highlighted as part of a feature on The University of Dundee Research and Innovation services within Herald Business HQ Innovation & IP Special Report.

The article on page 14 mentioned STAR-Dundee alongside fellow University of Dundee spin-out Exscientia:

‘Kelly (Dr Orla Kelly) points to two of the most successful university spinouts; STAR-Dundee which was the commercialisation vehicle for the universities work on the SpaceWire Standard and Exscientia, a company specialising in artificial intelligence drug design.’

'STAR-Dundee markets networks based on the SpaceWire Standard. This is a highly specified network that is designed specifically for the high data-throughput rates found on spacecraft. It is a network designed to connect together processing units, sensors, memory devices and telemetry/telecommand sub-systems.It offers numerous advantages to organisations like NASA and the European Space Agency, both of which are STAR-Dundee clients.

For a start, it reduces development costs by making it easy to integrate different sub-components into a total system, and it helps these agencies to slot individual components into different mission promoting reuse of systems.’

Find out what STAR-Dundee has to offer on our products page: https://www.star-dundee.com/products

[Photo used with permission from The University of Dundee Research and Innovation services]

29 May 2017

STAR-Dundee at UK Space Conference

 

This week STAR-Dundee will be attending Data Systems in Aerospace (DASIA), Gothenburg and the UK Space Conference, Manchester. 

STAR-Dundee at DASIA

STAR-Dundee are attending DASIA from the 30th May to the 1st June, where we will be demonstrating the SpaceFibre Multi-Lane interface implemented in the radiation-tolerant Microsemi RTG4 FPGA as well as the SpaceFibre Router PXI card. We’ll also be demonstrating the new STAR Fire Mk3 hardware and SpaceFibre link analysis software.

Our CEO Steve Parkes will present on SpaceFibre: Capabilities, Components and Kit on Wednesday the 31st of May at 10:30 (CEST) in room B.

For the full programme please visit: http://eurospace.org/dasia-2017.aspx

STAR-Dundee at the UK Space Conference 

STAR-Dundee are attending the UK Space Conference 2017 from the 30th May to the 1st June, where we will be available at booth B15 in the exhibition area. From here we will be demonstrating our SpaceWire and SpaceFibre equipment including our new STAR Fire Mk3 unit. 

The STAR Fire Mk3 can transmit and receive SpaceWire and SpaceFibre traffic and is also a SpaceFibre Link Analyser. SpaceFibre traffic can be transmitted and received either from a host PC or using built-in advanced data generators and checkers. Powerful software allows SpaceFibre traffic captured by the STAR Fire Mk3 to be displayed in multiple views with varying levels of detail. As SpaceFibre is compatible with SpaceWire at the network level, the STAR Fire Mk3 can also be used to transmit and receive SpaceWire traffic over a SpaceFibre link.

More information on the UK Space Conference 2017 is available here: www.ukspace.org/event/uk-space-conference-2017

PANGU at GNC 2017

The University of Dundee will be exhibiting PANGU - Planet and Asteroid Natural Scene Generation Utility at the 10th International ESA Conference on Guidance, Navigation & Control Systems between 29th May to the 2nd June 2017 in Salzburg, Austria.

Find out more about PANGU here: https://www.star-dundee.com/products/pangu-planet-and-asteroid-natural-scene-generation-utility

 

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