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.
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.
STAR-Dundee is a partner in Hi-FLY, a research project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. The aim of Hi-FLY is to develop and validate innovative technologies to remarkably improve space on-board data handling and transfer capabilities, primarily for Earth Observation and partly also for Telecom future missions. To achieve this goal, Hi-FLY will make substantial advances in all major elements of the data chain including inter-satellite and on-board networks, payload processing, data compression, protection, storage and transmission.
STAR-Dundee’s role includes providing a standard interface, SpaceFibre, to the instruments and elements of the payload data chain. This is scalable to sustain data-rates from 1 Gbit/s to 40 Gbit/s per link and supports very high-speed data transfer and equipment control, configuration and monitoring through the same interface, enhancing overall system reliability. The end to end data chain will support an input data-rate from instruments of 50 Gbit/s and an output data-rate to the downlink of 10 Gbit/s.
The Hi-FLY project partners are:
- Airbus Defence and Space GMBH
- Airbus Defence and Space SAS
- Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co.KG
- STAR-Dundee Limited
- University of Dundee
- Integrated Systems Development S.A.
- Deutsches Zentrum Luft – und Raumfahrt e.V.
- Kongsberg Spacetec AS
- Erzia Technologies SL
- Universitat Autonoma De Barcelona
- Ethniko Kai Kapodistriako Panepistimio Athinon
- Modus Research and Innovation Limited
Further information on the Hi-FLY project can be found on the Hi-FLY project website, while a video providing an overview of the project is available on the Hi-FLY YouTube channel.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 776151
STAR-Dundee are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted in two categories for the Courier Business Awards 2018. We are finalists in the Export and Science and Technology categories, with the winners to be announced at the Awards event on the 27th of October, at which we will have a table. The full list of finalists can be found in the Courier’s story on the announcement.
The Courier Business Awards recognise the many great achievements of businesses in Tayside and Fife. The first awards were held in 2013 and this is the third year that we have entered after being named Design and Innovation Business of the Year last year.
We are always proud to be recognised in this manner by the judges, who themselves are local business people, and look forward to joining the other businesses at the Awards Evening.
From the 6th to the 9th of August, STAR-Dundee will be exhibiting at the 32nd Annual Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah, USA. If you’re attending the event, come and visit us at Booth 31 in the main hall (Taggart Student Center).
We’ll be demonstrating some of our forthcoming products, including the Link Analyser Mk3, STAR Fire Mk3 and SpaceWire Gigabit Ethernet (GbE Brick). Also on our stand will be our SpaceFibre Camera, which will be transferring video across SpaceFibre at Gbit/s rates to the STAR Fire Mk3, where it will be displayed on the connected PC using our STAR-System software suite.
STAR-Dundee attended the Space Computing & Connected Enterprise Resiliency Conference for the first time, in Bedford, Massachusetts from June 4th – June 8th 2018.
STAR-Dundee took part in Session 5 (1:00PM – 3:30PM, DoubleTree): ‘Interconnects for Space – including SpaceVPX, SpaceWire, SpaceFibre, sRIO, TTE, standards/markets, and emerging standards.’
Dave Gibson, a Software Engineer at STAR-Dundee, gave a presentation covering the main features and benefits of SpaceFibre. Find out more about SpaceFibre here: https://www.star-dundee.com/knowledge-base/what-is-spacefibre.
Our last conference in May is Data Systems in Aerospace (DASIA) from the 29th-31st of May in Oxford, UK.
On May 29th, our CTO, Steve Parkes, will be presenting ‘A Wideband Spectrometer in the Microsemi RTG4 FPGA‘ at 16:00 in Room B and then ‘SpaceFibre Image Sensor and Data Processing Units’ at 16:30 in Room A.
On May the 30th, Steve will present a paper on PANGU ‘PANGU V4: A Software tool for testing vision-based guidence and navigation systems for in-orbit, entry descent and landing and surface mobility operations’ at 9:00 in Room A.
STAR-Dundee will also have a table in the exhibition hall where we will have a demonstration of PANGU.
See the full programme at the Data Systems in Aerospace (DASIA) website.
STAR-Dundee will be exhibiting at the Single Event Effects (SEE) Symposium & Military and Aerospace Programmable Logic Devices (MAPLD) Workshop in San Diego on 21-24 May.
Visit our Stand to see the first demos of our new products Link Analyser Mk3, STAR Fire Mk3 and SpaceWire Gigabit Ethernet (GbE Brick) which will soon be relased for sale.
Our CTO, Steve Parkes, will also present on the topic ‘A High Availability, High Reliability SpaceVPX System’ on Wednesday 23rd of May. See the full programme on the Single Event Effects (SEE) Symposium & Military and Aerospace Programmable Logic Devices (MAPLD) website.
Featured Image: Our new products: Link Analyser Mk3, STAR Fire Mk3 and SpaceWire Gigabit Ethernet (GbE Brick).
May is a busy month for all at STAR-Dundee. We will be at 3 events: SpaceWire Conference, SEE/MAPLD and DASIA.
From 14-18 May we will be at the SpaceWire Conference in Los Angeles.
On Monday the 14th Steve Parkes, our CTO and author of the SpaceFibre standard with inputs from several spacecraft engineers, will be presenting a SpaceFibre tutorial, explaining how the protocol operates and how it can be used to solve many communications problems on-board spacecraft. This tutorial is free for everyone registered for the SpaceWire Conference. More information can be found on the SpaceWire Conference website programme page.
STAR-Dundee’s CEO, Stuart Mills, will Chair the ‘Missions & Applications’ session from 11:30-12:35 on Tuesday the 15th and STAR-Barcelona Director and R&D Engineer Albert Ferrer Florit will chair the ‘Networks & Protocols’ session from 13:30-15:00 on Wednesday the 16th.
Employees from STAR-Dundee have contributed to a number of papers which will be presented at the conference. The titles, authors and times are below:
Tuesday the 15th:
- (51) Stuart Mills, Chris McClements, David Paterson, Pete Scott, Steve Parkes; TESTING OVER ETHERNET WITH THE SPACEWIRE GBE BRICK (10:30-11:00)
- (56) Albert Ferrer-Florit, Alberto Gonzalez Villafranca, Steve Parkes, Chris McClements;SPACEFIBRE INTERFACE AND ROUTING SWITCH IP CORES (15:25 – 16:15)
- (54) Steve Parkes, Ashish Srivastava, Chris McClements, Pete Scott, David Dillon, Albert Ferrer Florit, Alberto Gonzalez Villafranca; SPACEFIBRE CAMERA (9:00-10:15)
- (55) Steve Parkes, Pete Scott, David Dillon, Martin Dunstan, Chris McClements, Albert Ferrer Florit, Alberto Gonzalez Villafranca; SPACEVPX-RTG4 BOARD WITH SPACEWIRE OR SPACEFIBRE BACKPLANE (9:00-10:15)
- (52) Stephen Mudie, David Gibson, Chris McClements, Stuart Mills, Steve Parkes; TESTING SPACEFIBRE EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS (15:15-16:30)
- (53) Stephen Mudie, David Gibson, Chris McClements, Stuart Mills, Steve Parkes; SPACEWIRE LINK ANALYSER MK3 AND SPACEWIRE RECORDER (15:15-16:30)
Visit the SpaceWire Conference website for the full programme.
STAR-Dundee will also be exhibiting at the conference. Visit our stand to be one of the first to see demos showcasing three new products: the Link Analyser Mk3, STAR Fire Mk3 and SpaceWire Gigabit Ethernet (GbE Brick) which will soon be relased for sale.
Registration for the SpaceWire conference is open until the 14th of May – register here: http://2018.spacewire-conference.org/registration/
Featured Image: Electronics Engineer Pete Scott ready to demo at the SpaceWire Conference 2018.
Interested in Space Technology?
Graduated from an Electronic Engineering degree or similar course?
Then the Optical Communication and Image Processing for Space Applications (OCIPSA) engineering funded studentship with STAR-Dundee, The University of Dundee, Heriot-Watt University and EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Applied Photonics is for you!
The OCIPSA project will research and develop optical communication technology and image processing technology for space applications. It will explore the use of fibre optics in high-availability SpaceFibre networks, considering lane and link redundancy to provide the high reliability and high availability capabilities required on-board a spacecraft. Experimentation is expected to include the design (in VHDL for FPGAs) of digital communication protocol engines driving fibre optics, the construction of fault tolerant networks, the integration of an image sensor and image processing application, and the overall evaluation of the performance of the fibre optic network in the event of transient, persistent and permanent lane and link failures.
Find out more here: https://www.cdtphotonics.hw.ac.uk/vacancy/2017/optical-communication-and-image-processing-space-applications-ocipsa
Find out how to apply here: https://www.cdtphotonics.hw.ac.uk/apply.html
The featured image shows the Crab Nebula in bright neon colours. The unusual image was produced by combining data from telescopes spanning nearly the entire electromagnetic spectrum, from radio waves to X-rays. Find out more here: http://www.esa.int/spaceinimages Copyright: NASA, ESA, G. Dubner (IAFE, CONICET-University of Buenos Aires) et al.; A. Loll et al.; T. Temim et al.; F. Seward et al.; VLA/NRAO/AUI/NSF; Chandra/CXC; Spitzer/JPL-Caltech; XMM-Newton/ESA; and Hubble/STScI, CC BY 4.0
Christmas has arrived at STAR-Dundee! The tree is up, the party is planned and everyone is feeling in the festive spirit.
This year we have lots to celebrate, we turned 15 years old, transformed into an employee owned company, were awarded Courier Design and Innovation Business of the Year and opened a subsidiary company STAR-Barcelona, not to mention all of the products we have improved and customers we have supported!
Our dedicated staff have been working very hard on lots of exciting projects while answering support questions, processing sales and packaging products for the last delivery slot before Christmas.
During this period it is very important to use the below forms or include the enquiries, sales or support emails in correspondence with STAR-Dundee. Doing so will ensure the best available person is able to answer your questions.
Log general enquiries here: https://www.star-dundee.com/contact
Request a quote from here: https://www.star-dundee.com/pricing-enquiry
Ask for technical support here: https://www.star-dundee.com/request-technical-support
We will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible and are always happy to help.
Please note between the 21st of December and the 2nd of January, responses may be slower than usual due to winter holidays.
We hope you all enjoy the festive season and look forward to working with you in 2018!
The featured image shows some of the team in front of our STAR-Dundee themed Christmas tree, with its very own STAR-Dundee logo topper.
Did you know we have an office in Barcelona?
In 2012, Albert and Alberto, two of our employees, wanted to return to Barcelona having worked in Dundee for some time (Albert holds a PhD from the University of Dundee). STAR-Dundee is a very employee-focused company and was happy for Albert and Alberto to return to Barcelona and continue their work for STAR-Dundee from a different country. We now have three employees in Barcelona, and we intend to increase this number soon!
This year STAR-Dundee became an employee owned company and, alongside managerial changes, on the 1st of November 2017, Space Technology and Applied Research Barcelona (STAR-Barcelona) was born. STAR-Barcelona is now a subsidiary company of STAR-Dundee.
STAR-Barcelona are soon set to expand, keep an eye out for future opportunities within the team!
The featured image shows our founder and previous CEO (now CTO) Steve Parkes in the process of signing the STAR-Barcelona subsidiary agreement.