What services does the Avionics Laboratory offer?
Although tasks requested for ESA projects are generally given priority the Avionics Laboratory offers services for other European space programmes and companies, including SMEs (although not in competition with commercial laboratories) that meet the criteria described below.
A candidate customer can request a quotation to perform a test by contacting Laboratory managers Alain Benoit (Control Systems) and Philippe Armbruster (Data Systems). To qualify, the candidate customer (or end customer they are acting for) must be a person or body under the jurisdiction of an ESA Member State. The project in question must correspond to standard ESA Directorate of Technical and Quality Management research and development, and have a peaceful purpose.
The overall Laboratory is made up of the Data Systems and Control Systems Laboratories. The Data Systems Laboratory is further divided into three four areas, each with their own specific emphasis and offering services as follows:
- On-board Computers and Data Handling Area: Used for avionics data handling building blocks, interfaces and system validation:
- Validation of data systems architectures and configurations for new missions.
- Validation of microprocessors, computer modules and storage modules.
- Investigation of on board microprocessor anomalies (HW & SW) and troubleshooting.
- Prototyping of on-board communication protocols and subsequent validation, supporting ECSS and CSSDS standards
- Payload Data Processing Area: Offering validation of SpaceWire based units and ASICs as well as reproduction and further analysis of anomalies identified in ASICs and units by users.
- Development and validation of low-level software interfaces and drivers.
- Validation of processor and storage units available as breadboards or simulators.
- Ability to acting as an active node in the TopNet SpaceWire remote integration setup.
- Support to ESA projects to reproduce anomalies and to find respective workarounds for on-board payload data systems;
- Maintaining and developing the necessary in-house expertise in this area.
- Provision of special SpaceWire test equipment to projects and industry on loan;
- Holding of the data compression algorithms reference for projects;
- Evaluation, verification and validation of data compression hardware and software implementations.
- Microelectronics area – Offers support to projects and R&D activities in the field of integrated circuits: ASICs & FPGAs:
- ASIC design: Verilog/VHDL modeling, simulation, synthesis, timing analysis, layout.
- ESA IP Cores service (maintenance and distribution to Space Industry of synthesisable VHDL and SystemC IP Cores).
- SEU emulation / fault injection tests for integrated circuits.
- FPGA design and prototyping.
- ASIC/FPGA validation (hardware electrical and performance tests).
Contact: Philippe Armbruster
Philippe.Armbruster @ esa.int,
The second segment of the Laboratory is the Control Systems Laboratory:
- offering services related to the prototyping and characterisation of new navigation and control sensors:
- Precursor tests in different configurations for New Generation Miniature Digital Sun sensor.
- Characterisation of Active Pixel Sensor (APS) and Single Photon Avalanche Detector (SPAD) detectors.
- Long duration tests performed in full cooperation with Materials and Components Lab in charge of low dose rate irradiation while the Control Lab performs the functional evaluation of performance degradation.
- Low temperature survival tests.
- Consolidating AOCS/GNC concepts by hardware and software in the loop testing in open or closed loop environment (dSpace environment):
- CMG-based AOCS, Formation Flying with RF metrology, active and passive isolation system, EDLS with navigation camera, hybrid navigation Systems.
- improving industry efficiency through the introduction of new techniques and software tools developed in Open Source (advanced control synthesis and performance analysis toolboxes and optimisers, e.g. Worst Case Analysis)
- supporting emerging applications by the development of specific tools not yet available (e.g. PANGU)
- supporting the development and/or upgrade of commercial European multi-mission and specialised GNC/AOCS and Astrodynamics toolkits for design analysis and performance verification (e.g. STA http://sta.estec.esa.int)
Contact: Alain Benoit,
Alain.Benoit@ esa . int,
Last update: 28 September 2009