User menu

News

14 June 2019

STAR Fire Mk3

Closely following on from the publication of the SpaceFibre standard, our latest SpaceFibre and SpaceWire enabled test and development unit is now available!

The STAR Fire Mk3 can transmit and receive both SpaceWire and SpaceFibre traffic; it can interconnect SpaceWire equipment to a SpaceFibre network; and it can operate as a SpaceFibre link analyser, capable of unobtrusively capturing and displaying SpaceFibre traffic. Leveraging these capabilities, it is possible to emulate, stimulate, debug and validate SpaceFibre enabled equipment.

Previous versions of the STAR Fire were created whilst we developed the SpaceFibre standard, helping to prove the technology and providing early adopters with access to test equipment. Building on the previous STAR Fire models and our expertise in SpaceFibre, both the STAR Fire Mk3 hardware and software have been significantly improved, resulting in a comprehensive test and development platform.

More information is available on the STAR Fire Mk3 product page.

29 May 2019

SpaceFibre Standard and SpaceFibre Demonstration

For the past decade, STAR-Dundee has been leading the development of the next generation of SpaceWire technology: SpaceFibre. SpaceFibre is a high-performance, high-reliability, high-availability network technology for use onboard spacecraft.

Our efforts in developing SpaceFibre were recently rewarded with the publication of the SpaceFibre standard, “ECSS-E-ST-50-11C – SpaceFibre – Very high-speed serial link”, by the European Space Agency’s standardisation body, the European Cooperation for Space Standardization.

SpaceFibre provides data signalling rates of 6.25 Gbit/s in current flight technology, over electrical or fibre optic cables, while its unique multi-laning features allow up to 16 lanes to be combined into a single link, giving a theoretical link rate of 100 Gbit/s. SpaceFibre offers much more than high data rates, however. The technology is capable of detecting, isolating and recovering from faults in the link where they occur, which prevents faults from propagating and causing further errors. SpaceFibre provides galvanic isolation, transparent recovery from transient errors, error containment in virtual channels and frames, and “Babbling Node” protection. Very versatile quality of service mechanisms allow scheduled, deterministic communication without wasting any network bandwidth.

These powerful capabilities mean that SpaceFibre is not only suitable for very high data rate payloads such as synthetic aperture radar and multi-spectral imaging instruments; it can also be used for network and equipment management and for deterministic command and control type applications. SpaceFibre allows each of these traffic types with very different requirements to share a single network, with each traffic stream operating independently within its own virtual network.

SpaceFibre has been and is being designed into its first ASICs, on-board equipment and space missions. The powerful Ramon Chips RC64 many-core DSP features STAR-Dundee IP to provide 12 SpaceFibre ports each offering up to 6.25 Gbit/s data signalling rate. SpaceFibre is being used in Europe, USA, Russia and Japan and has been incorporated in the latest revision of the ANSI/VITA 78 SpaceVPX backplane standard.

Our CTO, Steve Parkes, wrote the SpaceFibre standard with inputs from international spacecraft engineers, and STAR-Dundee has designed, implemented and tested:

In addition, STAR-Dundee has demonstrated the first complete SpaceFibre network representative of spaceflight applications and incorporating radiation tolerant technology. STAR-Dundee owns a patent on the SpaceFibre multi-lane technology, which is being freely licensed for space related applications.

We currently offer several SpaceFibre IP cores and SpaceFibre Test and Development products, with more products to be added to this range in the near future.

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!

Pages

Subscribe to News