Skip to Main Content
Microelectronics and embedded systems for space applications are built to withstand the harsh environment of space and operate autonomously using scarce resources. This talk will describe research projects aimed at increasing the reliability and miniaturisation of computing systems for data processing and control on board satellites. First, the need and challenges of designing embedded systems for spacecraft will be outlined. Then, research work on miniaturisation of on-board electronics using reconfigurable programmable logic and system-on-a-chip design will be presented. This will be followed by a description of projects aimed at acceleration of computationally intensive digital signal processing algorithms for image processing on board observation satellites, such as compression of multispectral and hyperspectral satellite imagery. Next, current research effort on distributed embedded systems for spacecraft, which is a part of an ongoing FP7 project, will be discussed. The research is motivated by the need to increase the reliability of computing systems on board satellites with respect to debris impact. Novel fault-tolerant distributed computing systems will be presented using wired and wireless communication protocols. Finally, details about the University of Leicester CubeSat project will be given, which is a future educational satellite mission for science and technology demonstration and a candidate for participation in the European multi-spacecraft network QB50 in 2015.