collaboration for instrument systems technologies tidas project january 2011 dr ralph cordey n.
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Collaboration for Instrument Systems & Technologies: TIDAS project January 2011 Dr. Ralph Cordey. Aims of Collaboration? . Science positioning Technology maturation System optimisation. A happy Envisat / MIPAS instrument team in 1999.

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collaboration for instrument systems technologies tidas project january 2011 dr ralph cordey

Collaboration for Instrument Systems & Technologies: TIDAS project January 2011Dr. Ralph Cordey

aims of collaboration
Aims of Collaboration?
  • Science positioning
  • Technology maturation
  • System optimisation

A happy Envisat / MIPAS instrument team in 1999

astrium part of eads a global leader in aerospace and defence
Astrium: part of EADS, a global leader in aerospace and defence



Airbus Military




astrium s activities are based in three key areas
Astrium’s activities are based in three key areas

The European prime contractor for civil and military space transportation and manned space activities

Astrium Space






A world leader in the design and manufacture of satellite systems

At the forefront of satellite services in the secure communications, geo-information and navigation fields

space solutions for life on earth
Space solutions for life on Earth

Earth observation

Space science



Subsystems, equipment & operations

Military systems


Telecommunications programmes

  • Fixed services unicast/multicast, broadcast
  • Mobile services
  • Telephony, audio, video and data
  • Direct-to-home TV and digital data
  • Internet and broadband multimedia
  • Alphasat l-XLEutelsat W2M Ka-Sat
  • Amazonas 2 Express AM4 Yahsat 1A
  • Arabsat 5A & Badr-5 Hot Bird 9 & 10 Yahsat 1B
  • Astra 1M, 3B, 1N Hylas


Why’s he talking about telecommunications when this is about atmospheric science??

why mention telecommunications
Why mention Telecommunications?
  • Telecommunications has been our historical commercial driver for powerful & flexible on-board processing
  • It embodies a set of skills and technologies that can support flexible & fast on-board processing demands in other space application domains
  • E.g. Gaia Astrometry Video Processing Unit (a well-defined problem)
taking advantage of enabling technologies
Taking Advantage of Enabling Technologies
  • High bandwidth ADCs and DACs(1 to 4 GHz becoming common)
  • High integration and low power Rad-Hard ASIC technologies(e.g. 45nm)
  • Reconfigurable Rad-Tolerant FPGAs(flexible and high integration)
  • Low power Rad-Hard one-time programmable FPGAs(efficient and provide the simplest solution to a custom flight chip)
  • Multi-Gigabit wired communication links(low power and mass)
  • High speed Micro-Processors(designed for robustness when used in high radiation environments ; versatile as they are software driven)
  • High capacity and robust solid state storage devices(low power, no moving parts, reliable, low mass)
processor technologies antifuse fpgas
Processor Technologies – Antifuse FPGAs
  • High-performance architecture, enhanced for space
    • Up to 4 million system gates (~500,000 ASIC gates)
    • 350 MHz system performance
    • Up to 850 I/Os & 540 kbit user memory
  • Designed to be Radiation Tolerant
    • Interconnect SEU immune (anti-fuse based)
    • Single Event Upset (SEU) Immunity: LETTH > 60 MeV-cm2/mg
    • Hardware TMR of all registers
    • Single Event Latch Up (SEL) Immunity: LETTH > 104 MeV-cm2/mg
    • Functional at 300 krad (Si) Total Dose
  • Manufactured to
    • QML E/Q/V

Actel ProAsic

payload processing and collaboration
Payload Processing and Collaboration
  • To start to bring this power to bear on other space science & Earth Observation problems we generally seek relevant external collaboration…especially to tension processing resources against science return
  • …and where there isn’t an immediate commercial opportunity we also seek mechanisms to make them work
  • Various examples at present:
    • DRPM (dynamically reconfigurable processor module) with Univ. Brunswick for ESA
    • CEOI flexible on-board processing study for EO instruments, with NOC Southampton
    • Wideband spectrometer (ORTIS back end) with Univ. Dundee & RAL & Oxford for ESA
    • TIDAS with University of Leicester, Selex Galileo & RAL
scientific processor application areas
Scientific Processor Application Areas

Instrument back-end processing

    • Image compression and data compaction
    • High speed data analysis (e.g. FFT’s, resampling, imaging processing, navigation and locomotion processing etc.)
  • Data management and Instrumentation control
    • Mass memory storage and data accessing
    • Multi-instrument control and monitoring
    • Redundancy and failure mitigation handling
  • Advanced payloads
    • Demanding applications (e.g. digital beamforming for SAR, high resolution sensor post-processing etc.)
    • Reconfigurable processing platforms (e.g. Chameleon processing units)

Created in 2007 as a result of joint support from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and industry.

Funded through the UK Space Agency with the key aim to develop capabilities in future space instrumentation for Earth Observation through the teaming of scientists and industrialists.

ceoi a significant industrial collaboration with university of leicester
CEOI - a significant industrial collaboration with University of Leicester

Mick Johnson, Director

Paul Monks

Chris Mutlow, RAL Space

Rob Scott

back to tidas
Back to TIDAS…
  • TRL raising and system optimisation for an advanced thermal infrared imaging spectrometer for atmospheric science
  • It’s about combining high-resolution spectroscopy with a Fourier transform spectrometer with 2-D imaging at thermal IR wavelengths backed up by fast digital processing
  • There is not a single UK team that can tackle this alone…
    • …Selex Galileo can create detector arrays & interface electronics
    • …Astrium Ltd can do fast on-board signal processing
  • But neither is expert in Fourier Transform spectrometers nor in being able to bring science requirements into an overall system optimisation
reconfigurability is intrinsic to the science of tidas
Reconfigurability is intrinsic to the science of TIDAS

Alteration of function with

instrument mode

512 point FFT

Binning 1x1 pixels

Maintained in

all modes








16384 point FFT

Binning 20x4 pixels

4096 point FFT

Binning 5x1

Image: ESA

reconfigurability is intrinsic to the science of tidas1
Reconfigurability is intrinsic to the science of TIDAS

Command sequence

for mode-related


Image: ESA

the tidas team
The TIDAS Team
  • The study brings together a new team of partners with expertise in NERC atmospheric science, FTS techniques, thermal infrared detector arrays, and fast electronics for spaceborne instruments
  • University of Leicester: science lead, experiment
    • John Remedios, Neil Humpage
  • Selex Galileo: detector and interface electronics
    • Helen Milne, Peter Knowles
  • STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory: FTS and experiments
    • Hugh Mortimer
  • Astrium Ltd: on-board signal processing
    • Alex Wishart, Thomas McCoy
NERC Molecular Spectroscopy Facility’s Bruker 66v/S Fourier Transform Spectrometer: NERC has supported TIDAS with 8 weeks time
your contact at astrium satellites is
Your contact at Astrium Satellites is:

Dr. Ralph Cordey

EADS Astrium

Gunnels Wood Road



Tel: +44 (0)1438 773752