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Sep 23, 2015

Space CompactPCI® Serial

During a first informal meeting at Fraunhofer FOKUS in Berlin end of August, MEN's Manfred Schmitz was asked by players in the space industry to coordinate the start of a new workgroup with PICMG. Prominent players like Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space, were present.

PICMG Standard Space CompactPCI Serial

BLUE BELL, Pa. September 2015 - During a first informal meeting at Fraunhofer FOKUS in Berlin at the end of August, MEN Mikro Elektronik’s Manfred Schmitz has been asked by players in the space industry to coordinate the start of a new workgroup with PICMG. Prominent players like Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, amongst others, were present.

CompactPCI Serial reaches out into Space

The goal of the new technical PICMG sub-committee "Space CompactPCI Serial" is to extend the current CompactPCI Serial specification by a sub-standard covering the specific requirements for space applications.

Topics will include support of additional serial interconnections like SpaceWire, TT-Ethernet and rapid I/O for inter-board communication. Provisions for high availability, fault detection and environmental requirements are also on the task list. One of the major goals is to keep the standard simple and understandable and to guarantee a maximum of interoperability between bus slots and boards.

CompactPCI has a long history in space applications, from the famous "Curiosity" Mars rover to satellite control, or for scientific tasks in the ISS. And even the CompactPCI Serial base specification has the mechanical and conduction cooling technologies needed for space already defined and in place.

Thus, Space CompactPCI Serial is the consequent path to implement high-tech solutions for a highly sophisticated market while re-using and evolving proven industrial technology, reaching significant cost reductions in parallel. A typical application for Space CompactPCI Serial is e.g. the implementation of the platform and the payload controller onboard satellites.

Of course, the PICMG sub-committee Space CompactPCI Serial (in foundation) welcomes new participants. Interested parties are invited to contact PICMG (Joe Pavlat, info@picmg.org) or MEN (Manfred Schmitz, info@men.de).

Airbus Defence and Space is Europe’s number one space enterprise, the second largest space business worldwide. Expertise reaches from launchers to the in-orbit delivery of satellites (Ariane), planetary and deep-space missions and International Space Station activities.

Thales Alenia Space, satellite specialist and provider of Earth observation, navigation and communication, space exploration and transport services, is one of the main suppliers to the International Space Station, and a pivotal player in systems to explore the Universe.

Fraunhofer Gesellschaft is known worldwide for its outstanding applied research and marketable innovations, with FOKUS being one of the largest Fraunhofer institutes, transferring innovation and technology transfer to professionalize the utilization of research findings.

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