eSail

Client

Lusxpace is the Luxembourg System Integrator for Aerospace and Defense Systems. As part of the large network of OHB companies, Luxspace is offering innovative and economical services, maintaining state-of-the-art technology in Luxembourg. The Luxspace’s area of work covers the Micro satellites, space systems and subsystem design, specification, manufacturing and test in addition to the service development and the satellite operation.

Project

The eSail mission is an ambitious program, partially ESA funded, that aims to detect AIS messages in order to track vessels beyond the coverage already provided by the existing terrestrial AIS. This global maritime surveillance capability is beneficial to many European entities to counteract illegal activities and to improve maritime safety. The eSail project encompass novel, advanced payloads and an improved microsatellite platform combined with a cost-effective approach.

Challenges

DELTATEC designed two fully custom equipment for the eSail platform: the On Board Computer and the Payload Data Handling Unit.

In addition to the traditional space designs challenges (radiation hardness, reliability…), the memory storage and the computing capacities requirements are very challenging.

The Payload Data Handling Unit includes 128GB of NAND storage memory always available and error corrected for an AES128 encrypted downlink at the impressive speed of 200Mb/s.

Solution

DELTATEC developed a ‘from scratch’ design around the quite new Gaisler GR712 Leon 3FT processor assisted by a radiation hardened RTAX FPGA from Actel. Thanks to its high level knowhow in the high speed design, DELTATEC is able to fully exploit the capabilities of this space qualified FPGA.

The processor embeds a Hoffman compression algorithm, an Error Correction algorithm and all the classical housekeeping peripherals. The boards are connected to the platform thanks to a fully ESA qualified CAN Open protocol developed by DELTATEC in a very constrained schedule.

DELTATEC also developed an EGSE based on DELTACAST.TV cards with a remarkable list of embedded protocols including four high-speed space wire links.