STAR-Dundee is delighted to be taking part in the first International SpaceWire Conference, to be held from 17 to 19 September 2007 in Dundee, Scotland. The conference will be hosted by the University of Dundee, where the SpaceWire standard was written, and will be attended by representatives from industry and the major space agencies. Session topics will include SpaceWire missions and applications, SpaceWire components, SpaceWire onboard equipment and software, SpaceWire test and verification, SpaceWire networks and protocols and SpaceWire standardisation. There will also be an industrial exhibition, featuring STAR-Dundee as well as other major international suppliers of SpaceWire technology.
SpaceWire Lab Cables can now be purchased from STAR-Dundee. These cables offer similar performance to standard SpaceWire cables, but have been designed for ease of use in the laboratory. Standard cable lengths are available and alternative lengths can be made to order. For further information, including a data sheet describing the cables’ characteristics, please see our Products page.
At the recent European Space Agency Exploration Workshop in Edinburgh, STAR-Dundee demonstrated its range of SpaceWire equipment to workshop participants. This workshop is the first step in defining a long term strategy for space exploration.
STAR-Dundee’s demonstration used SpaceWire Router-USB (now replaced by the SpaceWire Router Mk2) and SpaceWire USB Brick units to simulate the onboard data handling bus of a spacecraft, highlighting some of the benefits of SpaceWire for spaceflight applications. Participants at the workshop were very interested in SpaceWire technology. Allan Wilson, Deputy Minster for Enterprise and Learning, was pleased to see the new technology STAR-Dundee has developed since his visit to the Space Systems Lab in July 2006.
STAR-Dundee participated in this year’s meeting of the International Aeronautical Congress. The IAC’s 57th gathering took place from 2-6 October in Valencia, Spain, and was attended by more than 2,500 delegates. Delegates were treated to a taste of Spanish culture, particularly in the form of flamenco and Valencia’s famous paella. The Congress was held in the city’s stunning Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias (Arts and Sciences Centre), designed by the acclaimed Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. In keeping with the spirit of the chosen theme of the Congress, ‘Bringing Space Closer to People’, the organisers cultivated public interest and support through open days and public events.
At STAR-Dundee’s exhibition stand a wide range of SpaceWire equipment was displayed, including the SpaceWire Link Analyser, SpaceWire Router-USB, SpaceWire PCI-2 board and the widely used SpaceWire-USB Brick. STAR-Dundee staff performed a live demonstration of the innovative SpaceWire IP-Tunnel by connecting SpaceWire equipment at the exhibition via the Internet with other SpaceWire equipment in the STAR lab in Scotland. The SpaceWire IP-Tunnel supports early spacecraft sub-system integration using the Internet to integrate and remotely test SpaceWire enabled spacecraft sub-systems. For more information on the SpaceWire IP-Tunnel and STAR-Dundee’s other equipment, see our Spacewire Products page.
STAR-Dundee and the Space Technology Centre were visited by Deputy Enterprise Minister Allan Wilson on July 25th. Mr Wilson was given a guided tour of the Technology Centre, visiting both the Satellite Receiving Station and the Space Systems Lab. In the Space Systems Lab he was shown planetary surface simulations and the SpaceWire related activities currently being completed, including the SpaceWire IP Tunnel.
The minister praised STAR-Dundee for showing Scotland to be at the cutting edge of innovative technology. His comments were widely publicised.
STAR-Dundee recently collected its second SMART Award from the Scottish Executive. The grant will be used to fund STAR-Dundee’s next line of SpaceWire development equipment.
The award has been made under the SMART:SCOTLAND scheme, which is designed “to help small businesses develop new cutting-edge products and processes with the potential to benefit Scotland’s economy”. For further information, see the Scottish Executive’s news release.
The Space Technology Centre at the University of Dundee was opened on March 18th by Lord Sainsbury, Undersecretary of State for Science and Technology. The Space Technology centre brings together the Satellite Receiving Station at Dundee, the Space Systems Research Group and related commercialisation activities.
Leading edge research in the fields of onboard electronic systems for spacecraft and satellite data reception, along with related teaching and commercialisation activities form the core of the Space Technology Centre. The Space Systems Research Group at Dundee has had a major influence on the design of spacecraft onboard data-handling networks having led the work on the SpaceWire network standard which is now being used on many ESA and NASA spacecraft. A spin-out company STAR-Dundee Ltd is commercialising SpaceWire technology and now has many blue chip customers across the world including ESA and NASA.
The Space Systems Research Group also does research on planetary lander systems and its PANGU planet surface simulation tool is being used by ESA, Astrium and other for research and development of planetary lander systems.
The NERC Satellite Receiving Station has been receiving satellite data since 1978. It now provides data from several satellites to environmental scientists across the UK. The Satellite Receiving Station is an important component in the UK for monitoring the Earth from space supporting many environmental research projects.
Scientists and engineers from Japan today visited the Space Systems Research Group at the University of Dundee and used equipment from STAR-Dundee Ltd to test their SpaceWire equipment. JAXA, the Japanese Space Agency, are planning to use SpaceWire technology on the Bepi Colombo mission to Mercury, and the NeXT Xray telescope.
STAR-Dundee Ltd presented and demonstrated its range of SpaceWire equipment to the International SpaceWire Seminar held at the European Space Agency Technology Research Centre (ESTEC) in The Netherlands.
The SpaceWire Router-USB nine port router unit with eight SpaceWire ports and one USB2.0 port is aimed at SpaceWire system develop support. The router is functionally compatible with the SpaceWire router ASIC being developed by ESA.
The SpaceWire Brick provides a low cost evaluation platform for SpaceWire. With two SpaceWire interfaces and a USB2.0 interface, the SpaceWire Brick acts as an interface into a host PC. Power for the SpaceWire Brick is supplied over the USB connection making it ideal for portable development and test equipment.
The SpaceWire Monitor was also demonstrated. This unit provides an effective means of monitoring the state of a SpaceWire link, showing the link state and traffic on two sets of LEDs, one for each direction of the link. The SpaceWire Monitor also has connectors for plugging in a logic analyser so that the characters flowing through the link can be captured and displayed. The SpaceWire Monitor does the SpaceWire character decoding so that setting up the logic analyser is simple.
The SpaceWire standard, ECSS E50-12A, was issued by the European Cooperation for Space Standardization on 23rd January 2003. This standard was written by Steve Parkes, head of the Space Systems Research Group at the University of Dundee and Managing Director of STAR-Dundee Ltd, with input from engineers across Europe. Early versions of SpaceWire are already being used on several European and American missions. It is anticipated that with the publication of the SpaceWire standard that an increasing number of missions will use SpaceWire technology.
STAR-Dundee Ltd has won a SMART Award from Scottish Executive. This £45,000 grant is to help fund the development of a SpaceWire Link Analyser.
A new spin out from the University of Dundee was formed today (30th July 2002). STAR-Dundee Ltd aims to commercialise the SpaceWire technology being developed by the University’s Space Systems Research Group. SpaceWire is a computer network designed for use onboard spacecraft.