Developers of space-based electronic systems face increasing pressure to deliver higher levels of performance while working within more-aggressive project schedules and tighter budgets. Many space-based systems now under development call for advanced video equipment that will capture images with extremely high resolution and then relay those images instantaneously back to earth. To do this, new systems need to include advanced processing circuitry, greater storage capacity and the ability to transfer large data files quickly over long distances. However space-based systems have a unique set of size, weight and power (SWAP) constraints that can prove taxing for designers.

Requirements to do more for less are driving the adoption of commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) devices, such as FPGAs. The flexibility inherent in reconfigurable FPGAs offers tremendous benefits for developers of space-based systems in terms of SWAP constraints, cost and productivity.

Reprinted with permission from Xcell Journal / First Quarter 2009. Article © Xcell Journal.