Embedded Computer for Space Applications suitable for Linux

This report briefly describes the special requirements for a computer board for use in space. In particular, component selection and ways of mitigating the soft and hard errors are discussed.

Furthermore, one implementation for a low-cost, relatively high performance computer that will work in the harsh space environment is presented. The report is primarily intended for those familiar with digital design, who need an introduction to construction of space or other high-reliability hardware.

As the quality (resolution) of imagers, spectrometers and other data sources in scientific satellite payloads is increasing, there is also an increasing demand for more processing power in order to compress or in other way process the data before transmitting it on the limited bandwidth microwave downlink to Earth.

Scientific instruments are usually mission specific and have rather low budget, so there is a need for a powerful computer board that can be used for a number of missions in order to keep the engineering costs down.
Source: Linköping University
Author: Dahlberg, Johan

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