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

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: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>