electrical and electronics
SpaceCube (GSC-TOPS-35)
A Family of Reconfigurable Hybrid On-Board Science Data Processors
SpaceCube is a cross-cutting, in-flight reconfigurable Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) based on-board hybrid science data processing system developed at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC). The goal of the SpaceCube program is to provide 10x to 100x improvements in on-board computing power while lowering relative power consumption and cost. The SpaceCube design strategy incorporates commercial radiation-tolerant Xilinx Virtex FPGA technology and couples it with an integrated upset detection and correction architecture to provide reliable order of magnitude improvements in computing power over traditional fully radiation-hardened flight systems.

The Technology
Next generation instruments are capable of producing data at rates of 108 to 1011 bits per second, and both their instrument designs and mission operations concepts are severely constrained by data rate/volume. SpaceCube is an enabling technology for these next generation missions. SpaceCube has demonstrated enabling capabilities in Earth Science, Planetary, Satellite Servicing, Astrophysics and Heliophysics prototype applications such as on-board product generation, intelligent data volume reduction, autonomous docking/landing, direct broadcast products, and data driven processing with the ability to autonomously detect and react to events. SpaceCube systems are currently being developed and proposed for platforms from small CubeSats to larger scale experiments on the ISS and standalone free-flyer missions, and are an ideal fit for cost constrained next generation applications due to the tremendous flexibility (both functional and interface compatibility) provided by the SpaceCube system.
SpaceCube 1.0b SpaceCube Family Overview
  • 10x to 100x more on-board computing power than current radiation-hardened space processors
  • Efficient and low cost: SpaceCube allows for relative power consumption and cost to be dramatically lowered in comparison with alternatives

  • Real-time SAR / Lidar / Image Processing
  • Autonomous Operations / Robotic Servicing
  • On-Board Product Generation
  • Real-time Event / Feature Detection
  • Real-time Wavefront Sensing and Control
  • On-Board Data Volume Reduction
  • Real-time Situational Awareness
  • Intelligent Data Compression
  • Real-time Calibration / Correction
  • On-Board Classification
  • Inter-platform Collaboration
Technology Details

electrical and electronics
GSC-16673-1 GSC-16700-1 GSC-16805-1 GSC-16808-1
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