- SpaceFibre IP Cores for the Next Generation of Radiation-Tolerant FPGAs 479.99 KBSpaceFibre (ECSS-E-ST-50-11C) is a very high-performance, high-reliability and high-availability network technology specifically designed to meet the needs of space applications. It provides point-to-point and networked interconnections at Gigabit rates with Quality of Service (QoS) and Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR). SpaceFibre has been designed as a replacement of SpaceWire (ECSS-E-ST-50-12C)—it is backwards compatible with SpaceWire at the packet level—for next-generation space missions where very high throughput is required, providing up to 6.25 Gbit/s per lane, with multi-lane allowing to reach up to 16 times the speed of a single lane. NORBY and OPS-SAT technology demonstrators have already flown SpaceFibre, with more missions in both Europe and the USA currently designing or planning to use SpaceFibre.
STAR-Dundee has developed a complete family of SpaceFibre IP cores fully compliant with the SpaceFibre standard. This family is composed of four different IPs: Single-Lane Interface, Multi-Lane Interface, Single-Lane Routing Switch and Multi-Lane Routing Switch.
A new generation of radiation-tolerant FPGAs is emerging to cope with the ever-growing processing power required by newer missions. Microchip has released the PolarFire RTPF500, Xilinx the Versal XQRVC1902, and NanoXplore the BRAVE NG-Ultra. SpaceFibre operation requires serial transceivers, which are already inbuilt in modern FPGAs. The IPs have been adapted to take advantage of the specific transceivers and memory blocks offered by these new FPGAs.
In this work we analyse in detail the performance of STAR-Dundee SpaceFibre IP cores on this new generation of FPGAs considering several performance metrics, e.g. maximum lane speed, resource usage, etc. We also compare the performance of the IPs with current state-of-the-art space-grade FPGAs, i.e. Microchip RTG4 and Xilinx Kintex UltraScale XQRKU060. This analysis can also be used as a representative benchmark to compare the performances of the different FPGAs available for space.
- SpaceFibre Multi-Lane Routing Switch IP 402.66 KBSpaceFibre (ECSS-E-ST-50-11C) is a very high-performance, high-reliability and high-availability network technology specifically designed to meet the needs of space applications. It provides point-to-point and networked interconnections at Gigabit rates with Quality of Service (QoS) and Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR). SpaceFibre has been designed as a replacement of SpaceWire (ECSS-E-ST-50-12C) – it is backwards compatible with SpaceWire at the packet level – for next-generation space missions where very high throughput is required. SpaceFibre provides up to 6.25 Gbit/s per lane, with multi-lane allowing to reach up to 16 times the speed of a single lane.
In this work we present the SpaceFibre Multi-Lane Routing Switch IP Core developed by STAR-Dundee and its subsidiary STAR-Barcelona. This IP provides a highly flexible router comprising a number of ports and a fully configurable, non blocking, high performance, routing switch matrix. The internal ports use AXI4-Stream protocol, and the external ports can implement SpaceFibre or SpaceWire interfaces. The SpaceWire ports include additional bridging logic for efficient interconnection between SpaceWire and SpaceFibre equipment. The core logic of the IP is technology independent but has been optimised to be easily implemented in radiation tolerant FPGAs.
The routing switch is fully compliant with all layers of the SpaceFibre standard, supporting up to 64 virtual networks and 256 broadcast channels. Among other features, it implements network time synchronisation, packet time-outs, and automatic translation between SpaceFibre broadcast messages and SpaceWire broadcast codes (SpaceWire Time-Codes or Interrupts). With up to 8 lanes per SpaceFibre interface, raw link rates of 50Gbps per port can be achieved.
The multi-lane routing Switch Ip Core is implemented in the STAR-Tiger Routing Switch of the Hi-SIDE project.
- SpaceFibre Payload Data-Handling Network 1.35 MBThe Hi-SIDE project is a European Union project carried out by several leading aerospace organisations from across Europe. It aims to develop satellite data-chain technologies for future Earth observation and Telecommunication systems. Hi-SIDE has made substantial advances in the major elements of the data chain including networking, processing, compression, and downlink transmission to support the next generation of data intensive missions. The data chain elements are interconnected via a SpaceFibre network . This paper introduces SpaceFibre and the Hi-SIDE project and then describes the STAR-Tiger SpaceFibre routing switch which forms the heart of the SpaceFibre network.
- Hi-SIDE: Monitoring, Control and Test Software in a SpaceFibre Network 1.25 MBThe aim of the Hi-SIDE project was to develop and demonstrate technologies that enable future high-speed on-board data-handling systems. The Hi-SIDE demonstration system consisted of several elements including a SpaceFibre Camera and an instrument simulator generating high data-rate payload data; two processing elements providing compression and encryption; a PC-Based Mass-Memory providing onboard storage and playback functions; two downlink systems providing Radio Frequency (RF) and optical links; a File-Protection Scheme (FPS) to protect against errors or outages in the optical downlink; and a Control Computer used to monitor and control the other elements. Each of the Hi-SIDE instruments, processing, storage, and downlink elements were interconnected via SpaceFibre using the STAR-Tiger SpaceFibre Routing Switch; and monitored, configured and controlled by the Control Computer. As part of the Hi-SIDE project, software was designed and developed by STAR-Dundee to monitor and control the other elements. In addition, to demonstrate the high data-rate capabilities of the processing and downlink elements in the Hi-SIDE system, software was designed and developed by STAR-Dundee to support the transmission, storage, and playback of files encoded in Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) Space Packet Protocol (SPP) and Transfer Frame (TF) packets at data rates of over 10 Gbit/s. This paper describes the monitoring, control and test software that was developed by STAR-Dundee within the Hi-SIDE project and provides performance results.
- Testing SpaceFibre in Orbit: the OPS SAT and NORBY Technology Demonstrators 303.75 KBSpaceFibre (ECSS-E-ST-50-11C) is a technology specifically designed for use on-board spacecraft that provides point to point and networked interconnections at Gigabit rates with Quality of Service (QoS) and Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR). SpaceFibre is backwards compatible with SpaceWire (ECSS-E-ST-50-12C), allowing existing SpaceWire equipment to be incorporated into a SpaceFibre network without modifications at the packet level. As part of its worldwide adoption by the aerospace industry, experiments are being developed to demonstrate the capabilities and performance of SpaceFibre in space.
This article presents the results of two collaborations of STAR-Dundee, one with the European Space Agency (ESA) OPS-SAT team and one with Thales Alenia Space (TAS) to develop SpaceFibre technology demonstrators. These consist of an implementation of the STAR-Dundee SpaceFibre Interface IP core as part of the spacecraft payload. The aim of these collaborations was to increase the technology readiness level (TRL) of SpaceFibre by demonstrating an operational SpaceFibre link in orbit, providing examples of flying heritage for the technology.
The first collaboration is an implementation of a SpaceFibre link in a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) device hosted in the OPS-SAT spacecraft developed by ESA. The entire SpaceFibre was implemented in the FPGA (Intel Cyclone V) and it was controlled and monitored from a CPU. The experiment generates and sends data in loopback using different virtual channels in the link, and the received data is subsequently checked for errors. During the activity SpaceFibre is continuously being monitored looking for issues in the link.
The second collaboration was with TAS in the NORBY mission. In this activity SpaceFibre is also implemented in a commercial FPGA, and the monitoring and control of the link is done by a LEON3 processor. Similarly, this activity also uses data generators to send data in loopback and the received data is checked for errors.
The results of both activities were successful. All the data transmitted were received with no errors, showing that SpaceFibre links implemented even in commercial FPGAs can reliably operate in space.