The first satellite was sent to space in 1957. Since then, technology has evolved, and satellites have become progressively smaller and lighter. Their area of application has also extended considerably – they are now an integral part of many of the services we use every day, such as Internet connectivity, GPS navigation and exact weather forecasts. Satellites are indispensable when it comes to monitoring climate change and enabling smart farming and autonomous driving.
Space robots are used to support astronauts in their tasks – they either operate autonomously or are remote controlled, carrying out repairs, moving payloads and experiments, taking samples e.g. from the lunar surface, as well as monitoring their environment and providing data that can be analyzed by researchers in space or on Earth.
Technology for satellites and robotics
Technology and products for space need to withstand a harsh environment with extreme temperature differences and high radiation. Electronic components installed in satellites and space robotics need to have a long service life and also be robust, compact and cost-efficient. Size and weight are crucial factors for all payloads and equipment sent to space. Reliability and high-performance data transfer are also key factors: satellites and space robots commonly stay in space for long periods of time and need to be able to transfer large amounts of data to Earth, including images and results of observations, experiments, as well as GPS signals.
Benefits of TTTech Aerospace’s solutions for satellites and robotics
TTTech Aerospace supports the reduction of size, weight and power (SWaP) and high data throughputs by providing modular, deterministic embedded network and platform solutions. TTTech Aerospace’s products fulfil very high quality and production standards and are qualifiable for the use in extremely harsh environments. The product portfolio ranges from ASICs, switch and end system hardware to networking and computing platforms with embedded software and also includes software tools, testing and lab equipment. Series products are available to support a wide variety of applications in space.
TTEthernet® is a scalable, standards-based technology that delivers deterministic real-time communication and enables the transmission of safety-critical messages as well as standard communication data on one data network. It is used in human space flight and launcher applications as well as for satellites and robotics applications used for science and research.
TTTech Aerospace’s solutions offer:
- Reliable, qualifiable system solutions: TTTech Aerospace provides components, software and tooling, as well as complete networked computing software and hardware platforms based on Deterministic Ethernet
- Modularity and flexibility: deterministic network solutions and components enable scalable and modular system architectures and the interoperability with standard Ethernet provides more flexibility in applications
- Easier integration and reconfiguration: time synchronization implemented in hardware saves costs for dedicated software and network integration
- High-performance and highly efficient data transfer with bandwidths of up to 1 Gbit/s: supports applications requiring high-speeds to transfer large amounts of data and allows future extensions to the system.
- Mixed-criticality architectures simplify software and avionics and reduce system lifecycle costs: use of a single network for command and control, as well as payload data with three traffic classes (best-effort Ethernet acc. to IEEE 802.3, rate-constrained traffic acc. to ARINC 664 part 7 and Time-Triggered Ethernet acc. to SAE AS6802) using the same physical medium/network.
- Safe, reliable systems: fault tolerance and fault containment implemented in hardware increase safety and keep the system operational at all times
- Use of open, Ethernet-based, international standards: TTTech Aerospace leverages synergies from many years of cross-industry experience from the aerospace, automotive, and industrial automation industries in developing new solutions for the space sector
Products and components used in space projects need to comply with all standards required for the project or application and have to be qualified for the use in the harsh environment of space, which includes wide temperature ranges and radiation. TTTech Aerospace’s products are based on and integrate the open industry standards IEEE 802.3, ARINC 664 part 7 and SAE AS6802 to allow for maximum flexibility and interoperability within large projects and programs, e.g. NASA’s Gateway. All products are qualifiable according to QMLV, the highest qualification level for integrated circuits and comply with the open international space industry standards International Avionics System Interoperability Standards (IASIS) and ECSS-E-ST-50-16C standard for Time-Triggered Ethernet (European space engineering standard).