High-Performance Data Processing
Today’s satellites are inherently inflexible and purpose-built for a single mission, relying heavily on the ground segment to analyze data. The space market is looking for on-board flexibility / on-board reconfiguration targeting the digitalization of payload for earth observation and space exploration missions. Furthermore, there is an increasing interest for the availability of AI-oriented hardware devices allowing tasks such as deep learning inference and pre-processing of sensor data in-orbit. OHB Hellas is dedicated to the development of the high-performance data processing on-board satellites technology, complementing the competencies of the OHB group and promoting space solutions Made-in-Greece.
Hardware accelerators are specialized computing systems integrated within the satellite itself. They consist of hardware components such as high-performance processors, digital signal processors (DSPs), field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), or dedicated application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). These units execute complex algorithms and data processing tasks directly on the satellite. They are controlled by firmware, which provides low-level instructions and interfaces with the hardware components. The firmware ensures efficient execution of tasks, manages memory, and controls data flow within the processing unit.
Firmware is the embedded software that controls the On-Board Satellite Processing Unit. It provides the necessary instructions for the hardware components to carry out specific tasks. Firmware manages the interaction between the hardware components, facilitates data flow, and optimizes processing performance. It also handles memory management and ensures the proper functioning of the processing unit. Firmware is responsible for coordinating the execution of software algorithms and integrating them with the hardware capabilities of the processing unit.
Data processing software includes a range of algorithms and software modules that perform advanced data analysis and processing tasks on-board the satellite. This software encompasses various techniques, including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and signal processing algorithms. AI algorithms enable autonomous decision-making, adaptive functionality, and intelligent data analysis. They can perform tasks such as image classification, anomaly detection, feature extraction, and predictive analytics. The software interacts with the firmware and utilizes the processing capabilities of the On-Board Satellite Processing Unit to execute complex algorithms and extract meaningful insights from the data collected by the satellite.
Cover image: Rendering of Shared Platform for Applied Research and Technology AffirmatioN (SPARTAN) Satellite