STAR Fire Mk3

The STAR Fire Mk3 is a test and development unit that can emulate, stimulate, debug and validate SpaceFibre enabled equipment. The STAR Fire Mk3 can transmit and receive both SpaceWire and SpaceFibre traffic; it can interconnect SpaceWire equipment to a SpaceFibre network; and it can operate as a SpaceFibre link analyser, capable of unobtrusively capturing and displaying SpaceFibre traffic. MICTOR connectors on the rear of the unit allow decoded SpaceFibre signals to be viewed on an external logic analyser. Integration with external equipment is possible using SMB connectors.

The STAR Fire Mk3 is controlled by a host PC, connected by a high-speed USB 3.0 interface, and is powered by a 5V power brick. It has two SpaceFibre EGSE ports, two SpaceWire ports, four external SMB triggers and two MICTOR logic analyser connectors.

NOTE: The STAR Fire Mk3 supersedes the original STAR Fire and the STAR Fire Mk2. Both the hardware and software have been significantly improved.

The host PC interface has been upgraded from USB 2.0 to USB 3.0, vastly increasing the speed at which SpaceFibre traffic can be transmitted and received from host PC, and reducing the time it takes to upload captured SpaceFibre traffic. The SpaceFibre traffic capture memory size has also been significantly increased. This means many millions of SpaceFibre words can now be captured, rather than thousands as was previously possible. The SpaceFibre data signalling rate is now configurable (1.88 – 3.2 Gbit/s supported) instead of fixed to 2.5 Gbit/s. Additionally, the hardware data generators and checkers built into the STAR Fire Mk3 have been improved. These are now capable of transmitting and receiving very complex user defined data patterns, suitable for a greater variety of test requirements.

The STAR Fire Mk3 software has been completely rewritten, significantly improving both functionality and performance. One application has been replaced by three, each designed for a specific purpose. SpaceFibre interface properties are now viewed and manipulated using the STAR Fire Mk3 Controller application. Live SpaceFibre virtual channel and broadcast channel statistics can now be viewed in the STAR Fire Mk3 Statistics application. The STAR Fire Mk3 Link Analyser application is now used to capture and view SpaceFibre link traffic. Compared to the old STAR Fire software, each application is faster, easier to use and offers greatly improved functionality.

Product Features

  • Transmit and receive SpaceFibre traffic

    • SpaceFibre data signalling rate is configurable (1.88 – 3.2 Gbit/s supported)
    • Each SpaceFibre interface has eight virtual channels
    • USB 3.0 interface to host PC allows software to transmit and receive SpaceFibre packets at high-speed (in excess of 1.8 Gbit/s on a typical PC)
    • Transmit and receive SpaceWire packets with real-time performance using built-in hardware data generators and checkers
    • Periodically transmit and receive low latency broadcasts using built-in hardware broadcast generators and checkers
  • Unobtrusively capture and display SpaceFibre traffic received, transmitted or inline on a SpaceFibre link

    • Record over 44 million SpaceFibre words
    • Capture SpaceFibre traffic to memory when specific symbols, words or errors are detected
    • View captured SpaceFibre traffic in symbol, frame, packet and network level software views
    • RMAP protocol analysis displays the fields of packets conforming to the RMAP standard
    • Search captured traffic for specific SpaceFibre words or for packets containing a particular data sequence
    • Enable filtering to disable idle frame capture for efficient memory usage
    • Export captured traffic to CSV file for custom software to interpret
  • Interconnect SpaceWire equipment to a SpaceFibre network

  • Periodically inject bursts of errors or force a disconnect

  • Transmit and receive SpaceWire traffic

    • Transmit and receive SpaceWire packets and time-codes from a host PC
    • Route packets between the USB 3.0 interface, SpaceWire ports and SpaceFibre virtual channels using the embedded SpaceWire router
  • Interface with external equipment using external SMB triggers

  • View decoded SpaceFibre signals on an external logic analyser connected by two 40 pin MICTOR connectors

  • 19” rack mountable (see 19″ Rack Mounting Kit)

  • Contains 2 x SpaceFibre EGSE ports, 2 x SpaceWire ports, 1 x USB 3.0 port, 2 x 40-pin MICTOR logic analyser connectors and 4 x SMB connectors (3 x trigger in and 1 x trigger out)

  • Software and accessories included:

    • Windows drivers (Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP)
    • Linux drivers (4.x, 3.x and 2.6 kernels)
    • STAR Fire Mk3 software: Controller, Statistics and Link Analyser applications
    • STAR-System: Includes GUI applications and C and C++ APIs with examples, for transmitting and receiving packets
    • User manuals
    • 2 x 1m SpaceFibre Type-C electrical EGSE cable
    • USB cable
    • 1 year’s technical support and maintenance

Technical Specs

  • Part Number


  • Size
    • 110 x 30 x 112 mm (excluding feet)

  • Power
    • +5V DC, power brick supplied

  • SpaceFibre Ports
    • Compliant to ECSS-E-ST-50-11C

    • Number of SpaceFibre Ports: 2

    • Data Signalling Rate: 1.88 – 3.2 Gbit/s

    • Connectors: Type-C EGSE electrical connectors

  • SpaceWire Ports
    • Compliant to ECSS-E50-12A, ECSS-E-ST-50-12C and ECSS-E-ST-50-12C Rev.1

    • Number of SpaceWire Ports: 2

    • Maximum Speed: 400 Mbit/s

    • Connectors: 9-pin micro-miniature D-type

  • USB Port
    • USB 3.0

    • Backwards compatible with USB 2.0 and 1.1

  • EMC
    • CE/FCC certified