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G & A Engineering Was established to carry out the strategically idea of realizing a Research Center with an associated industrial structure, to do research in the microelectronics field using emergent technologies. The space activity has been pursued to valorize the acquired military experiences and to research and apply cheap solutions and obtain, in the mean time, advantageous relapses in all the sectors in which normally we operate.
G & A Engineering • Peculiar characteristics are: • ability to cooperate with the research world • capacity of realizing prototypes absolutely undistinguishable from series production systems These abilities, jointly with the particularity of having great competences for R&D activities, design and engineering, concretized with the exclusive presence of qualified personnel of high-cultural level and with vanguard machines and tools availability, have allowed us to successfully participate in big physic experiments for the International Scientific Community. In our Oricola (AQ) plant has been constructed the greatest number of silicon detectors for space application of the world.
GEASAT Program GEASAT Program foresees the development of: • Microsatellites having weight less than 20 kg, realized using standard subsystems with high miniaturization level • Standardization of the possible payload general characteristics and bus interfaces • High performance Ground Station for telemetry, tracking, and control, integrated inside an international network to guarantee global coverage
GEASAT Class Microsats Objectives: • Innovative approach • Low costs and low-time-to-market • Solutions for payload for research application • High configurability levels and on-flight reconfigurability
Innovative Approach • Advanced architectural solutions based on MCM (Multi Chip Module) technologies and real-time programmable devices, integrated with SW functionalities inside new generation microcontrollers • Availability of standard solutions to have HW “pre-manufactured” subsystems • Standard HW solutions to be configured for their use during integration, according to mission requirements • SW & FIRMWARE simple configurability and on-flight reconfiguration
Low Cost & Low-Time-To-Market • Exclusive use of industrial grade components qualified for space applications through patented technologies • Standard subsystems realization costs like industrial grade subsystems, through solution standardization and low-cost G & A proprietary MCM technologies • Low-cost mission realization management using industrial criteria • Mission readiness time not more than 3 months, from the “off-the-shelf” standard subsystems availability
Solutions for P/L for Research Application Taking into account the high costs and the long preparation times of the research missions nowadays done, from our point of view, the use of this class of microsatellite is strategic & successful. We thought that the Scientific International Community can redirect the research activities to use those kind of satellites, equipped with low-weight payload (10 kg), but highly integrated and sophisticated using the most advanced microelectronic technologies.
High Configurability Levels & On-Flight Reconfigurability The architecture and the implemented solutions allow the configuration of all the standard systems, for bus and payload functionalities, during the integration phase. The functionalities reconfiguration on-flight is foreseen to allow either functional bus updates or payload on-board elaboration changes. This last possibility is considered useful for research applications, were during the operative life, can born the necessity of modifying mission requirements.
GEA Flight Control Center The Control Center is in Oricola (AQ), Lat.N 42º 05’ 09’’, Long. E 13º 02’ 56’’. This site has an Elevation visibility better than 4 degrees on the entire Azimuthale plane. The Rx-Tx chain is structured to work with all the frequencies of interest. All the equipments are LAN integrated and controlled using four different operative workstations: • Tracking & Ranging WS • Telemetry, Control & Command WS • Mission Control WS • FCC Management WS
GEA Flight Control Center The first two workstations are exclusively leaded by technical staff qualified for the station control. The mission control is structured to be leaded also form the mission proprietary. The FCC management guarantees either the correct station operation or the integration with other station worldwide. The entire station is connected outside using internet and commuted telephone lines. The FCC is destined to be used both for GEASAT mission and other mission activities, like third-party service.
Industrial Grade Components Spazialization A dedicated research program brought to the “Rad-Tolerant” space qualification of standard commercial components for LEO Orbit applications. To minimize the qualification costs and can get ready standard off-the-shelf qualified components, a component family has been defined, chose among the most advanced from the market. The selected components, primarily in DIE version, have been qualified using proprietary methodologies and technologies. Applying the microelectronic technologies available in the Oricola G & A’s Factory, all components are integrated using MCM (Multi Chip Module) and COB (Chip On Board) solutions.
Program Progress State COMPONENTS: EST (Electronics Space Test) experiment has been realized, which flown successfully during the Eneide Mission. For this, a special electronic equipment was realized to collect the great part of the qualified components, particularly: microcontroller, FPGA, Static, FRAM, FLASH & EEPROM memories, readout devices, solid-state pushbuttons, battery pack, accelerometers, gyros, P, T and H sensors, else that discrete active and passive components. The equipment has been sw programmed to trace the environmental mission conditions from launch to all the taxi flight. The results obtained analyzing the stored data have positively confirmed the attended results.
Program Progress State MICROSATELLITE: We are engineering the research activities results, to realize a microsatellite demonstrator, acknowledged “innovative” and financed by the Italian Ministry for Productive Activities (MAP).
Program Progress State GROUND STATION: Has been completely realized, integrated and tested. The system is now under installation in the Oricola Flight Control Center site.