Electronic Software Delivery

As part of our efforts to reduce our environmental impact, STAR-Dundee recently moved to electronic delivery of the software provided with our products and will no longer be shipping CDs with products unless specifically requested to do so. This has the added advantage of ensuring that users receive the latest software when they first begin using their new product.

To receive access to the latest updates for your product, whether it’s a recent purchase or a well-used unit bought 20 years ago, please register the device’s serial number on the PRODUCT REGISTRATION page in the SUPPORT section of our website. This registration process ensures that you’re given access to the correct updates for your products and an option is also offered to receive notifications when new updates are released for the products you register. If you’ve not yet received your products, you’re also welcome to register the products you’ve ordered by entering the purchase order number preceded by “PO” in the serial number field of the Product Registration page. This will allow you to start using the software and begin development using the APIs before you receive the devices.

If this is the first time you’ve registered a product, you will be given a new account for accessing downloads. You’ll then be given access to the downloads for the products you’ve registered. These downloads can be accessed from the PRODUCT SUPPORT page, which is again in the SUPPORT section of our website. If you’ve not already logged in, you can login using the LOGIN TO ACCOUNT button on this page or the LOGIN link at the top of any page. You’ll then see the list of products you’ve registered in the menu on the right-hand side. Note that many products make use of our STAR-System software suite which has its own downloads page and will also be listed in the right-hand menu.

We are continually improving our products and frequently release updates to both software and firmware, adding new features not initially present, plus support for new operating system versions. As part of our commitment to providing the best possible support, these updates are made available to all registered users through the download pages.

Electronic Delivery of Software

Upcoming Events

After a successful 2023, we are back again with another year full of exhibitions and trade shows, starting this week with a short trip to Glasgow for the second Space Suppliers Summit.

With the Space Industry continuing to grow, we look forward to meeting both new and current connections and will be attending both well-established and new events. In May, we will be returning to Space Tech Expo USA in Long Beach for the first time in several years and will attend the first Canadian Space Week in Montreal and Longueil. Closer to home, we’re also looking forward to the first ever Space-Comm Scotland in Glasgow.

We’re currently planning to exhibit at or attend the following conferences, exhibitions and trade shows in 2024:

Space Suppliers Summit
6th to 7th February, Glasgow, UK

Space-Comm Expo
6th to 7th March, Farnborough, UK

Paris Space Week
12th to 13th March, Paris, France

Space Tech Expo
14th to 15th May, Long Beach, CA

Canadian Space Week
23rd to 25th May, Montreal/Longueil

28th to 30th May, Opatija, Croatia

IEEE Space Computing Conference
15th to 19th July, Mountain View, CA, US

38th Annual Small Satellites Conference
3rd to 8th August, Logan, UT, US

Space-Comm Scotland
11th to 12th September, Glasgow, UK

ESA Industry Space Days
18th to 19th October, Noordwijk, Netherlands

Space Tech Expo Europe
19th to 21st November, Bremen, Germany


Further details on events can be found on our 2024 Events page, 2024 Events – STAR-Dundee

Release of SpaceWire PCIe Mk2

A second generation of our widely used SpaceWire PCIe board is now available with several improvements over the original product. The SpaceWire PCIe Mk2 board is a three port SpaceWire interface and router device, suitable for all stages of SpaceWire equipment development: initial SpaceWire evaluation, instrument simulation, control system simulation, unit testing, and spacecraft equipment integration support. The board is backwards compatible with the original SpaceWire PCIe (Mk1) board and adds extensive fault protection to meet most FMEA requirements. The new board also includes two external triggers not present on the Mk1, to enable synchronisation of packet transmission with external events and signalling of packet reception, and other events, to external equipment.

To facilitate fault protection, the SpaceWire PCIe Mk2 is powered from both +3.3V and +12V, compared to the Mk1, which is powered by +3.3V only. The power for both +3.3V and +12V supplies is taken from the PCIe slot that the board is plugged into.

As with the SpaceWire PCIe Mk1 and many of our other SpaceWire and SpaceFibre products, the SpaceWire PCIe Mk2 is supported by STAR-Dundee’s STAR-System software, making it simple to move from another product to the PCIe Mk2. Example command line applications are provided with source code to demonstrate common tasks, and to test a device’s throughput and latency. GUI applications are also provided to support the configuration of devices, the transmission and reception of packets and time-codes, and to inject errors.

SpaceWire PCIe Mk2 boards have now been shipping to initial customers for several months while we have worked to build up sufficient stock to fulfil future orders.

Several New Job Opportunities at STAR-Dundee

Due to our ongoing success and to allow us to further grow, we’re seeking to recruit several new employees in different areas of the business.

The positions we’re looking to fill include an Electronics Test Engineer, a Sales and Procurement Assistant, and several Electronics and FPGA Engineers. Each of these roles will provide the opportunity to contribute to the development of STAR-Dundee’s innovative spacecraft on-board network technology and electronic test equipment. This technology is already being used on spacecraft monitoring the Earth’s land, oceans and atmosphere, exploring Mars, visiting and bringing back samples from asteroids, mapping the stars in our galaxy, providing GPS and communication services, preparing to resume human exploration of the moon, and on many more Earth observation, scientific, astronomy and exploration missions.

As well as being a leading supplier of spacecraft on-board network technology and electronic test equipment, STAR-Dundee is an employee-owned company, with over 50% of the company shares owned by an Employee Ownership Trust on behalf of the employees. Staff are represented on this Trust and on the Board of Directors, and also benefit, when there’s a dividend payment to the other shareholders, with a tax-free or partially tax-free bonus.

The successful candidates will be based in our office in the heart of Dundee, Scotland, a renovated 19th century town house overlooking the Tay estuary. Dundee, Scotland’s fourth largest city, was listed by Lonely Planet in 2018 as one of the top ten best European destinations to visit and praised for its ‘head-turning’ urban redevelopment.

Further details on the vacancies, including detailed job descriptions with information on applying, can be found on our Vacancies page.

STAR-Dundee Recruitment November 2022

Upcoming Events

We’re glad to be attending face-to-face events again after participating online for the past couple of years. This year, we kicked off with Paris Space Week in February and travelled to Utah for The SmallSat Conference in August.

We have a busy few months ahead, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone again, as well as meeting many new people.

STAR-Dundee will be exhibiting at or attending the following conferences, exhibitions and trade shows in 2022:

Space-Comm Expo
7th to 8th September, Farnborough, UK

ESA Industry Space Days
28th to 29th September, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Space Suppliers Summit
4th to 5th October, Glasgow, Scotland

9th International SpaceWire and SpaceFibre Conference
17th to 19th October, Pisa, Italy

Space Tech Expo Europe
15th to 17th November, Bremen, Germany

Further details on events can be found on our 2022 Events page, 2022 Events – STAR-Dundee

STAR-Dundee’s 20th Anniversary

It was a momentous occasion earlier this week for STAR-Dundee as we celebrated our 20th anniversary!

Started in 2002, STAR-Dundee was born out of the Space Technology Centre at the University of Dundee, which led the technical work on the SpaceWire standard, something which staff at STAR-Dundee have been instrumental in for more than 20 years.

We are very proud to be a world leader in both SpaceWire and SpaceFibre technology.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our talented and dedicated employees at STAR-Dundee for making our success story possible.

And to the valued users of our products, we express our thanks to you for trusting us for many years and making us the leader in our field.

We are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and drive us to extend our track record of innovation and success.

Here’s to another 20 fantastic years!

Executive Assistant and Electronics/FPGA Engineer Roles

To meet growing demand for our technology and products, and to aid in our continuing growth, we’re seeking to recruit several new employees.

We’re looking for an Executive Assistant to assist our CEO in day-to-day activities and in several areas of importance to the company. These include promoting the company’s products and technologies internationally, supporting the company’s employees, and growing the company’s relationships with suppliers, partners and the local community. This role’s open to people with a range of backgrounds including science, engineering, management, marketing and legal. A scientific/engineering background would be helpful but isn’t essential.

We are also looking for several engineers with backgrounds in electronic circuit board, FPGA or ASIC design. These engineers will work on chip design and/or unit design, contributing to the development of new products and technology for spacecraft applications. We’re looking for people with at least two years’ industrial experience and with a 1st class degree or equivalent experience.

The successful candidates will be based in our office in Dundee, Scotland, a renovated 19th century town house in the heart of Dundee overlooking the Tay estuary.

Dundee and the Tay Road Bridge at dusk
Photo by Kim Cessford / DCT Media from

As well as being a leading supplier of spacecraft on-board network technology and electronic test equipment, STAR-Dundee is an employee owned company, with over 50% of the company shares owned by an Employee Ownership Trust on behalf of the employees. Staff are represented on this Trust and on the Board of Directors, and also benefit, when there’s a dividend payment to the other shareholders, with a tax-free bonus.

Further details on the vacancies, including detailed job descriptions with information on applying, can be found on our Vacancies page.

Support for Python and ARM Targets in STAR-System v5.00

The STAR-System software suite has provided the drivers, APIs and applications to our SpaceFibre and SpaceWire products for over 10 years and continues to be updated with new features and improvements in each release. The latest major release, version 5.00, includes two features which we regularly receive requests for: an API for the Python programming language and a new Linux installer supporting ARM targets such as the Raspberry Pi and BeagleBone.

Other new features include a new API to support creation and processing of CCSDS Space Packet Protocol and Transfer Frame packets, and new graphical applications providing RMAP Initiator and Triggering functionality. The Source and Sink graphical applications have been updated to include graphs to visually represent statistics when transmitting and receiving, while there are numerous other improvements and bug fixes.

Version 5.00 has been successfully tested on Windows 11 and Linux kernel compatibility has been tested up to kernel v5.16.9. As with all STAR-System releases, version 5.00 is backwards compatible with previous releases and so any software developed for an earlier version will work with this latest release without requiring any modifications.

STAR-System version 5.00 is now available for download for registered users through the Support area of our website. If you don’t already have access to these downloads, please register your product on our Product Registration page.

STAR-System version 5.00 with Python support and new graphical applications

STAR-Dundee CTO Elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Steve Parkes, Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of STAR-Dundee and former Professor of Spacecraft Electronic Systems at the University of Dundee, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Steve has been responsible for leading the development of SpaceWire and SpaceFibre computer network technologies for use on-board spacecraft. SpaceWire is being used in hundreds of spacecraft, costing in excess of $50 billion, which are monitoring the Earth, exploring our Solar System, and studying the universe. SpaceFibre is the next generation of this extremely successful technology, offering high-performance and high-reliability. It is already being designed into its first space applications and flying on two experimental spacecraft, OPS-SAT and NORBY.

The first prototype SpaceFibre system being demonstrated by Steve Parkes in USA in 2017.
The first prototype SpaceFibre system being demonstrated by Steve in USA in 2017.

Steve has been a constant innovator over the past 26 years since he first moved to Scotland (living in Kirriemuir, Angus) and joined the University of Dundee, where he became Professor of Spacecraft Electronic Systems. He has worked extensively with the international aerospace industry and space agencies across Europe, USA, Japan and Russia, being recognised by the Saltire society for his international scientific work in 2019.

As examples of his world-leading reputation, in 2012 Steve was awarded a Specialist Bronze Award by the Royal Aeronautical Society for his “instrumental role in the inception, development and continuing success of the SpaceWire standard for spacecraft on-board data handling” and in 2013 he was one of the recipients of the European Space Agency (ESA) Award for Teamwork Excellence for the SpaceWire project.

Steve founded STAR-Dundee to help support users of SpaceWire in 2002, spinning the company out from his research group at the University of Dundee. He led the company for 15 years as Managing Director and then CEO. He became CTO in 2017 to focus on engineering and business development activities.

Stuart Mills, CEO of STAR-Dundee said: “Everyone at STAR-Dundee would like to congratulate Steve on this well-earned recognition. In addition to founding and leading the company until 2017, Steve is responsible for writing the SpaceWire, RMAP and SpaceFibre standards, with input from the international space community. As well as being used in many spacecraft, these standards are the key technologies on which STAR-Dundee’s great success has been built.

“In his position as CTO, Steve continues to innovate. In addition to overseeing our world-leading research and development activities, he is also contributing to the development of new open standards which will benefit the wider space community.

“STAR-Dundee would also like to extend our congratulations to all the newly elected Fellows. I am sure their capabilities will be of great benefit to the Academy in its important mission to create a sustainable society and an inclusive economy for all.”

Steve’s dining room table during COVID-19, being used as the platform for the development and testing of the very latest SpaceFibre technology – in the heart of rural Angus!
Steve’s dining room table during COVID-19, being used as the platform for the development and testing of the very latest SpaceFibre technology – in the heart of rural Angus!

Sir Jim McDonald FREng FRSE, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, stated: “Our Fellows represent the best of the best in the engineering world, and we welcome these 69 excellent and talented professionals to our community of businesspeople, entrepreneurs, innovators and academics.”

“This year’s new Fellows are the most diverse group elected in the history of our institution. The engineering profession has long suffered from a diversity shortfall and the Academy is committed to changing that, including by ensuring that our own Fellowship community is as inclusive as it can be. It is well established that diverse organisations tend to be more agile and more innovative, and as the UK’s National Academy for engineering and technology, we have a responsibility to reflect the society we serve in addressing the shared challenges of our future.”

Logo of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

SpaceFibre and SpaceWire Demos at Virtual SmallSat 2021

Last month we attended Space-Comm Expo, our first in-person event since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but we have also participated in several virtual events over the past 17 months and will be participating in several more over the coming months. From Monday 9th of August 2021 we will be exhibiting virtually at SmallSat, the 35th Annual Small Satellites Conference. Our engineers will be online from 9am to 1pm MT from the 9th to the 12th of August to answer any questions you may have, and we will also have a demo each day at 10am MT. The demos are listed below and there are more details, with links to join each event on the SmallSat Demos page of our website:

  • Monday, 9th August 2021: Overview of STAR-System for LabVIEW
  • Tuesday, 10th August 2021: SpaceWire Link Analysis using the Link Analyser Mk3
  • Wednesday, 11th August 2021: STAR-Ultra PCIe: Multi-Lane SpaceFibre Interface and Link Analyser
  • Thursday, 12th August 2021: Introduction to SpaceWire Test and Development with the SpaceWire Brick Mk4

These demos, along with the chance to chat to our engineers, can be accessed regardless of whether you are participating in SmallSat. Just follow the link at the appropriate time.

The other events we currently plan to attend this year are listed on our Events page.

SmallSat 2021

STAR-Dundee Preparations for Completion of Brexit Transition

Following the completion of the Brexit transition period on the 31st of December 2020, the UK will no longer be a participant in the European Union Customs Union or European Single Market. STAR-Dundee would like to assure our customers that we are well prepared for this change and we will endeavour to ensure that there is the least possible disruption to you in the delivery of any orders.

Our preparations for this date have been ongoing for some time and we were awarded Approved Exporter Status in 2019. Holding the status of Approved Exporter simplifies export formalities and allows us to certify the preferential origin of our products, via a specific declaration on our invoices or commercial documents. This means we do not need to apply for movement certificates for each export, for example. We are also grateful to our logistics partners and to our distributors, who continue to help us to ensure that orders are delivered in a timely manner.

STAR-Dundee continues to have a presence in Europe, with our wholly owned subsidiary, STAR-Barcelona, based in San Cugat, to the north of Barcelona, Spain. STAR-Barcelona’s activities are primarily focused on research and development, ASIC design and IP cores related to SpaceFibre.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in contact.

01 Jan 2021

STAR-Dundee Proud to be a Supporter/Exhibitor at SEE/MAPLD 2020

For several years we have presented papers and exhibited at the Annual Single Event Effects (SEE) Symposium and Military and Aerospace Programmable Logic Devices (MAPLD) Workshop. With the 29th edition of SEE/MAPLD being a virtual event, we are proud to be named as one of the Supporters/Exhibitors of the event, which is being held from the 6th to the 8th of October, 2020.

We will have lots of exciting information to share during the event. On the first day, one of our engineers will present a paper titled “SpaceFibre for FPGA: IPs and Radiation Test Results”. In addition to information on the implementation footprint of our SpaceFibre Single-Lane, Multi-Lane and Routing Switch IPs on several Xilinx and Microchip FPGAs, this presentation will also include initial radiation test results of the Microchip RTG4 SerDes performance with and without our SpaceFibre IP.

Another of our engineers will be presenting a webinar at our virtual booth on the third day of the event, titled “Very High Speed SpaceFibre Interfacing and Analysis with the STAR-Ultra PCIe”. This will include a demonstration of the STAR-Ultra PCIe, a PCIe board providing two quad lane SpaceFibre interfaces, capable of data rates in excess of 10 Gbit/s. The STAR-Ultra PCIe can also act as a link analyser for monitoring and recording the traffic crossing the link and includes a suite of powerful software applications to easily access the features of the device.

Throughout the event, our team will be available at our virtual booth to answer any questions on SpaceWire, SpaceFibre, our products and related technology. There is lots of other useful content available at our booth which will continue to be online after the show ends and until the end of the year.

STAR-Dundee's Virtual Booth at SEE/MAPLD