Low Cost Monitoring System for Space Applications using Commercial-Off-The-Shelf Devices

Int. J. Microgravity Sci. Appl. 2013p160
Author
S. KIMURA
Organization
Department of Electrical Engineering, Tokyo University of Science
Abstract
While recent advances in space system design have led to increasingly complex spacecraft and mission objectives, importance of the monitoring system to acquire visual images of spacecraft is rapidly increasing. Visual images are effective for checking the deploying process in normal situations, and are also quite important in the case of anomalies wherein we cannot cover the whole system with sensors and predict where the unexpected anomalies may occur. Addition to the situation monitoring, new type applications including amusement such as Google earth, are emerging rapidly. If we can get visual images in orbit in very low cost, we can expected that more applications will be emerged over our current common sense. The resources of monitoring system, such as size and cost, expected to be reduced as much as possible, when we consider it is a part of support or maintenance system. We developed a very small, high-performance image acquiring and processing unit based on COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf) technologies. It has a 500 MIPS calculation capability in a single 46 mm × 46 mm printed circuit board, and it incorporates various types of interfaces using field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology. The high-performance image acquiring and processing unit is utilized in various kind of missions, such as IKAROS, Hayabusa2, and RiseSat. In this paper, the outline of the high-performance image acquiring and processing unit and examples of its applications.
Keyword(s)
Camera, Commercial-Off-The-Shelf, FPGA, Image processing
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