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.