Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Precision space maneuvers

01.02.2012
"embedded world" trade fair - Nuremberg

Spacecraft must operate with utmost precision when conducting landing maneuvers on other planets, or docking to a space station. To ensure they do not drift off course, imaging sensors collect a fl ood of data that are analyzed in real time.


The MUSE onboard computer allows a spacecraft to be piloted and positioned with pinpoint accuracy. © Fraunhofer FIRST

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Architecture and Software Technology FIRST have engineered a system based on multicore technologies that allow spacecraft to be piloted and positioned with pinpoint accuracy. It can be seen at the embedded world trade show in Nuremberg from February 28 to March 1, 2012 (Hall 5, Booth 228).

For a spacecraft to “see” and maintain its equilibrium, it needs a high-performance onboard computer. This device must process a myriad of sensor data simultaneously, and withstand the severe conditions of outer space. Through the MUSE project (Multicore Architecture for Sensor-based Position Tracking in Space), researchers are seeking to improve the positioning and guidance of such spacecraft.

Under the plan, scientists from FIRST developed an extremely high-performing onboard computer using modern multi-core processors. High-resolution cameras and infrared or radar sensors on the spacecraft deliver immense data volumes that help determine the position of the target object. These data have to be processed in real time, in order to compute the precise control of the vehicle. Spaceflight-enabled computers to date have always had to make sacrifi ces here, in terms of quality, due to the high performance requirements.

“In space, the major challenge is this: the system must provide an enormously high computing capacity, while power supply, weight, space and cooling requirements are kept to a minimum. In addition, cosmic radiation may cause sporadic data corruption, which has to be detected and rectifi ed by means of error tolerance mechanisms,” explains Samuel Pletner, in charge of Aerospace Business Development at FIRST. “We have to reliably eliminate the possibility of undetected errors leading to erroneous guidance commands and ultimately, uncontrolled movements of the spacecraft.”

The researchers solve the problem with the P4080 Multicore Processor, manufactured by Freescale, which is highly integrated and particularly robust. Besides maximum processing capacity, more effi cient error tolerance mechanisms can also be realized with these processors. Fraunhofer experts have devised complex position-detection algorithms specially designed for multi-core architectures. Thus, critical calculations can be conducted on a number of different processor cores, and the results checked through a reliable comparison.

The MUSE project is funded by the Space Flight Agency of the German Aerospace Center DLR, with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology.

Samuel Pletner | Fraunhofer-Institut
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2012/january/precision-space-maneuvers.html

Further reports about: AEROSPACE Architecture FIRST LEGO League MUSE Multicore Space information technology

More articles from Trade Fair News:

nachricht Bug-proof communication with entangled photons
22.06.2017 | Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft

nachricht LZH at the LASER World of Photonics 2017: Light for Innovation
16.06.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.

All articles from Trade Fair News >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Hubble captures massive dead disk galaxy that challenges theories of galaxy evolution

22.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New femto-camera with quadrillion fractions of a second resolution

22.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Rice U. chemists create 3-D printed graphene foam

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>