STAR-Dundee is Recruiting!

Talented Software Engineers required!

We have an exciting opportunity for experienced Software Developers to help shape our expanding product portfolio.

Following a very successful year that was crowned by winning the Courier Business of the Year 2013 award, and to support the continued growth of a busy company, STAR-Dundee is currently looking to expand our software team. Successful candidates will join a dynamic software design team working on software for spacecraft embedded systems, specialised test tools, and drivers, APIs and graphical applications to configure and control spacecraft test and development equipment.

If you’re interested in applying for a software engineer role, the job description can be found at the following link:

Marketing Assistant required!

We are also seeking a Marketing Assistant to help market our range of products for the international space industry, joining the business development team to fulfil a varied and creative role.

More information, including application details, can be downloaded here: Marketing Assistant.

STAR-Dundee new technology presented at FSW 2013 at CalTech

NASA's Jet Propulsion Labs' Mars Yard complete with Curiosity rover

The Californian sun gave a welcome break from the snow left behind in Scotland during attendance of FSW-13 at CalTech and a visit to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs.

The 2013 Workshop on Spacecraft Flight Software (FSW-13) was a very interesting insight into the hardware and software activity within the USA space community. The workshop provides an opportunity to present and discuss current spaceflight architectures, novel approaches to mission solutions, and techniques for flight software development, integration, test and verification.

Managing Director Steve Parkes presented 3 papers:

  • SpaceFibre: Multi-Gbits/s Network for Spaceflight Applications
  • AT6981 – A High Performance Processor for Space Applications
  • SpaceWire EGSE: Real-time instrument simulation in a day

The built-in features of both SpaceFibre and the AT6981 processor are hitting the right spots for the NASA next generation of spacecraft architecture.

SpaceFibre builds on the flight proven capability of SpaceWire by providing multi-gigabit network capability taking data rates to 2.5Gbits/s single channel and >20Gbits/s multi-channel whilst also greatly enhancing the fault tolerance and adding quality of service mechanisms. This aligns SpaceWire technologies as a serious proposition for future spacecraft data communications and mission critical applications.

The AT6981, a new SpaceWire enabled flight processor with SPARCv8 core, is currently being designed in partnership with Atmel. It provides mechanisms specifically designed to save on both CPU usage and power consumption. Three on-board SpaceWire interfaces use DMA engines to offload the data handling from the CPU returning valuable processing power to be applied to more mission critical and computationally demanding tasks. The ability of each of the functional blocks of the AT6981 to be selectively powered off within the core supports the move to reduce power consumption required by on-board equipment further meeting requirements designed to prolong the usable life of the spacecraft.

The SpaceWire EGSE has been proving to be a very useful time-saving device with the ability to create real-time hardware simulation of missing instrumentation in a matter of 1 or 2 days during system integration, and as a SpaceWire traffic generator as part of a development test suite or mission EGSE system.

There was a very interesting keynote speech by the creators of an autonomous ocean-going vehicle. They shared their experiences and specific problems encountered, including the use of satellite bandwidth .. at least we won’t need to reroute cabling on satellites and rovers to avoid damage from great white sharks!

Information about the Workshops for Spaceflight Software can be found here.

All FSW-13 presentations were recorded and are available at the FSW-2013 Video Portal.

STAR-System V2.2 released!

STAR-System V2.2

STAR-Dundee has now released V2.2 of their STAR-System software stack.

New Features for STAR-System V2.2

Languages and Environments:

  • Cygwin support in Windows release
  • LabVIEW now released! (available separately)

Operating Systems:

  • Linux kernels up to 3.11


Supported devices:

  • SpaceWire-USB Brick Mk2
  • SpaceWire Router Mk2S
  • SpaceWire PCI Mk2, cPCI Mk2
  • SpaceWire PCIe
  • SpaceWire Physical Layer Tester (available soon)


GUIs and Applications improvements:

  • Device Config App: Errors on ports are now highlighted by changing the colour of the tab’s text to red
  • Device Config App: Clicking the Refresh button does not change the tab on display. Changing the device being displayed also does not change the tab


A more comprehensive list and description of STAR-System is available here.

The latest STAR-System release can be downloaded from the Support website for customers that have registered devices. If you don’t have access, register your device, follow the link to our Technical Support home page and follow the instructions to obtain a username and password.

STAR-Dundee receive local accolade: Business of the Year 2013

Business of the Year - STAR-Dundee
John Stevenson. Courier. 01/11/13. Fife, St Andrews, The Fairmont Hotel, The Courier Business Awards Ceremony. Business of the Year. STAR- Dundee Ltd. Pic shows l/r winner Steve Parkes.

Fireworks were flying over STAR House a few days before Bonfire Night when STAR-Dundee was announced winner of the most prestigious award at the inaugural Courier Business Awards 2013: Business of the Year 2013.

The awards have been created to celebrate the thriving business community of East-Central Scotland, home of The Courier.  Companies of all sizes, and from all walks of the business community were represented from life-sciences and tourism, to agriculture and retail. STAR-Dundee was recognised for its success and continued growth over the past 10 years.

Image courtesy of © The Courier Business Awards / John Stevenson.

STAR-System V2.0 released!

STAR-System V2.0 New Application GUIs

STAR-Dundee has now released V2.0 of their STAR-System software stack.

STAR-System is the system architecture that has been designed as a minimal layer with a single programming interface, STAR-API, that is consistent across all supported operating systems. STAR-System V2.0 expands the STAR-System portfolio with more supported STAR-Dundee devices, new operating systems support, and a more extensive range of supporting APIs and GUIs.

New Features for STAR-System V2.0

Languages and Environments:

  • C++
  • LabVIEW (available soon, separately)


Operating Systems:

  • VxWorks (available separately)
  • RTEMS coming soon (available separately)


Supported devices:

  • SpaceWire-USB Brick Mk2
  • SpaceWire Router Mk2S
  • SpaceWire Physical Layer Tester (available soon)


APIs and Modules:

  • Configuration APIs for all supported devices
  • SpaceWire USB device driver


GUIs and Applications:

  • Error Injection: allows various forms of errors to be injected on a link, including parity errors and inserting or supressing FCTs.
  • Device Update: provides an easy way to upgrade the firmware of a device to the latest version when posted on the support website.


A more comprehensive list and description of STAR-System is available here.

The latest STAR-System release can be downloaded from the Support website for customers that have registered devices. If you don’t have access, register your device, follow the link to our Technical Support home page and follow the instructions to obtain a username and password.

STAR-Dundee present SpaceFibre at SpaceTech Expo, Long Beach LA.

SpaceTech Expo, Long Beach LA

Leaving a late-May snow fall behind in Scotland STAR-Dundee headed to the sun of Long Beach, California, to exhibit and present at the 2nd SpaceTech Expo.

Despite the depleted attendance due to the continuation of budget sequestration within the USA, the quality of visitors to the booth was still high.

The Open Forum gave us the opportunity to present “SpaceWire Technologies deliver multi-gigabit data rates for on-board Spacecraft” a brief introduction to SpaceFibre and a progress update on the developments and projects already adopting the gigabit network capability of SpaceFibre. This was particularly timely as, not only had the SpaceFibre IP core just been released to the fourth company to enter the SpaceFibre Beta program, but following on from the copper cable testing SpaceFibre had just been successfully tested running at 2.5Gbits over a 100m fibre optic connection.

Check our website for more details on SpaceFibre and the first available products: the SpaceFibre IP core and the diagnostic interface unit STAR Fire; the first product aimed at early SpaceFibre adoption.

STAR-Dundee attend DASIA in Porto

DASIA in Porto

Amid the backdrop of Port lodges and the historic buildings of Porto, the technologies presented at DASIA 2013 provided a lot of interest for STAR-Dundee attendees.

From the SpaceWire portfolio the most recent additions were presented: the SpaceWire EGSE and the AT7913E based SpaceWire RTC Development Kit. The SpaceWire EGSE, a programmable device simulator, is already proving popular due to it’s intuitive script language allowing complex instrument simulation to be achieved in a day, combined with it’s hardware based functionality giving it true real-time behaviour. Similarly the SpaceWire RTC Development Kit, that includes a fully integrated software development environment, is gaining a foothold as the one-stop-shop hardware and software development platform for the radiation tolerant Atmel AT7913E. The AT7913E RTC is a single-chip embedded system containing a radiation tolerant SPARC V8 core with FPU and embedded interfaces that acts as the bridge from sensor networks to SpaceWire networks, with the capability to effectively perform data handling at platform level and powerful data processing at payload level.

Under the University of Dundee banner, Managing Director Steve Parkes gave the first technical presentation outside the SpaceWire User Group forum about SpaceFibre. SpaceFibre is a multi-gigabit network protocol that builds on the SpaceWire protocol taking data rates to 2.5Gbits, and by greatly enhancing the fault tolerance and adding quality of service mechanisms allowing SpaceWire technologies to be a serious proposition for mission critical applications and an excellent option for other sectors such as Aerospace industry.

Check our website for more details on all the devices mentioned: SpaceWire EGSE,  SpaceWire RTC Development Kit and SpaceFibre.

Technical details and availability of the radiation tolerant AT7913E and other radiation tolerant devices can be obtained from Atmel.

STAR-Dundee Introduce SpaceFibre at 29th National Space Symposium

29th National Space Symposium

Another successful trip for STAR-Dundee exhibiting at the 29th National Space Symposium in Colorado Springs.

Despite the attendance being low from the absence of NASA and other US Government bodies, a direct result of US budget sequestration, and the appearance of some late winter storms that saw outside temperatures drop to -13 degrees Celsius, the quality of the visitors to our stand was again high including a discussion with Lt. Governor of Colorado Joseph Garcia attending as co-chair of the Colorado Space Coalition.

Exhibiting at the NSS provided the first forum for us to introduce SpaceFibre to existing SpaceWire users and newcomers to SpaceWire technologies. SpaceFibre produced great interest with its ability to provide Gigabit bandwidths for data transfer on-board spacecraft, especially when backed with QoS mechanisms and much improved fault tolerance techniques.

Engineers enjoy a Eureka moment in the SpaceFibre Development!

STAR-Dundee hosted a collaboration of engineers to validate a significant milestone in the SpaceFibre development.

STAR-Dundee hosted a collaboration of engineers to validate a significant milestone in the SpaceFibre development.

A delegation of Engineers from NTSpace, NEC, MELCO and Osaka University travelled to STAR-House to join STAR-Dundee engineers to test and validate the interoperability of independent implementations of SpaceFibre CODEC IP cores. This milestone is a key turning point in the project and a significant step towards bringing gigabit data rates to satellites and spacecraft to meet the increasing demands of ever-more sophisticated technological advances of on-board instrumentation. The 10 fold increase in speed over the current SpaceWire standard still maintains the SpaceWire ethos of high reliability, low power and usability.

SpaceFibre is a very high-speed serial data-link being developed by the University of Dundee for ESA which is intended for use in data-handling networks for high data-rate payloads. SpaceFibre is able to operate over fibre-optic and copper cable and support data rates of 2 Gbit/s in the near future and up to 5 Gbit/s long-term. It aims to complement the capabilities of the widely used SpaceWire onboard networking standard: improving the data rate by a factor of 10, reducing the cable mass by a factor of four and providing galvanic isolation. Multi-laning improves the data-rate further to well over 20 Gbits/s.

SpaceFibre interface, SpaceWire to SpaceFibre Bridge, and SpaceFibre link analysis tools are available from STAR-Dundee Ltd.

Crowning moment in a big 10th year for STAR-Dundee Managing Director

RAes Award: crowning moment in a big 10th year for STAR-Dundee Managing Director

In the year that saw STAR-Dundee move into our own bespoke premises and adding to the celebrations of our 10th year since the company was formed, Steve Parkes has been honoured by the Royal Aeronautical Society in awarding him a Specialist Bronze Award for his instrumental role in the inception, development and continuing success of the SpaceWire Standard.

The Society’s Specialist Bronze Awards are presented for work of merit which has led to advances in specialist disciplines in the aerospace industry.

Receiving the award from Phil Boyle, President of the Royal Aeronautical Society, Steve said, “I am honoured to receive this award in recognition of the research I have had the pleasure to lead over the past 15 years. My thanks and appreciation goes to the members of my research team within the University of Dundee and STAR-Dundee, and to my colleagues across the world, who together made winning this award possible.”

Dr Philippe Armbruster, Head of the European Space Agency’s Data Systems Division said that “Professor Steve Parkes is well known to the European Space Agency for his numerous contributions to the work of its Technical Centre (ESTEC). He has been instrumental in the development of the SpaceWire concept, from its inception to its vast deployment within satellite on-board data handling sub-systems.”

Prof Tadayuki Takahashi of the Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency, JAXA, said “Professor Steve Parkes is the leader of the SpaceWire activity in the world. The sixth Japanese X-ray satellite, ASTRO-H, is a new generation of satellite that uses the SpaceWire architecture extensively. We appreciate his tremendous efforts to collect all requirements from the international community and to formalize as the standard.”

Jim Lux, of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said, “Professor Parkes has been a leading force in the development and acceptance of SpaceWire as a high speed on-board data connection. I expect to see more and better science data from future missions that use SpaceWire because of his advocacy and persistence.”

STAR-Dundee attend JA2012 – Japanese International Aerospace Exhibition

Japanese International Aerospace Exhibition

STAR-Dundee was delighted to attend JA2012 on 9th-12th Oct in Nagoya in support of JEPICO, our distributer in Japan.

Japan International Aerospace Exhibition 2012 (JA2012) is the biggest show in the Japanese Aerospace Industry calendar occurring once every 4 years. The exhibition also contained a Space pavilion that included a display of the impressive achievements of the Japanese space industry over the years.

Attending the show provided a great opportunity to speak to both existing and potential customers within the Japanese Aerospace and Space industries, and to exhibit STAR-Dundee equipment including our latest products the SpaceWire EGSE and SpaceWire RTC Development Kit .

STAR-Dundee at the 26th Annual Small Satellite Conference

STAR-Dundee at SmallSat 2012

STAR-Dundee had a very successful visit to the 26th Annual Small Satellite Conference, 13-16 Aug 2012, Logan, UT, USA.

We would like to thank everyone who came to visit us at our exhibition stand. It was great to speak to existing customers, those new to SpaceWire and everyone in between. It was a particularly exciting time with the continued buzz following the successful Curiosity Mars landing and speaking to developers of equipment that contributed to the success.

We ran live demos of two of our newest developments: our most recently released SpaceWire RTC Development Kit and our soon-to-be-released SpaceWire EGSE. The SpaceWire RTC Development Kit is a combination of our SpaceWire Software Development Environment which supports our new SpaceWire RTC Unit based on ATMEL’s AT7913E; a flight ready LEON2-FT (SparcV8) based IC for interfacing on-board instruments. The SpaceWire EGSE is a highly capable test device designed to rapidly emulate or stimulate instruments and other SpaceWire enabled units, for which we are already taking orders.

For anyone who didn’t get a chance to speak with us, you can find more information about our products on the Products page or contact a member of the team using the Contact page.