Publications

Abstracts for all the papers authored by the Space Technology Centre are listed below:

  • S. Parkes
    Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal
    January 2001

    SpaceWire is a network designed for handling payload data and control information on-board a spacecraft. It provides a unified, high-speed, data-handling infrastructure for connecting together sensors (e.g. optical or radar instruments), processing elements (e.g. digital signal processors), mass-memory units, downlink telemetry sub-systems and ground support equipment (GSE). SpaceWire is intended to meet the needs of future, high-capability space missions. It supports equipment compatibility and re-use at both the component and subsystem levels. This paper first considers the key factors that drove the specification of SpaceWire, explaining the particular demands imposed by the space environment. The components of a SpaceWire network are then introduced. The key features of SpaceWire are summarised and the support that SpaceWire provides for fault tolerance is described. Finally a summary is given of the current status of the SpaceWire standard and its application in space missions.

  • S. Parkes, I. Martin
    ICEUM (International Conference on Exploration and Utilization of the Moon) 2000
    July 2000

    Exploration and utilisation of the moon is likely to be undertaken with extensive support from robotic systems.  These robotic systems must be placed on the lunar surface close to or at the location in which they are to operate. To land a spacecraft safely at a required landing spot requires an autonomous piloting capability using computer vision to support navigation and obstacle avoidance. The landing is mission critical and any autonomous piloting system will require extensive testing and validation before it can be used in a mission. The Space Systems Research group at the University of Dundee recognised the need for a planetary surface simulation system to support the development of the mission critical computer vision techniques. Subsequent research led to the LunarSim system which may be used to produce simulated lunar surfaces complete with craters and other surface features. Images can then be taken of this simulated surface from any position and orientation above the surface.

  • Steve Parkes, Iain Martin
    5th International Conference on Virtual Systems and Multimedia (1999)
    September 1999

    A Virtual Reality simulation of a planetary surface can be used to support the testing and development of vision-based guidance systems for unmanned space-probes intended to land on other planets or bodies in the solar system. These space-probes will operate autonomously during landing and will use vision bases algorithms for navigation and guidance down to a safe landing spot. Feasible vision-based guidance systems have been developed but must be extensively tested on suitable simulations of planetary surfaces. The University of Dundee has developed a virtual reality simulation of the lunar surface to support exhaustive testing of vision-based guidance software.

  • S. Parkes, I. Martin
    Information Visualization IV 1999
    July 1999

    Virtual reality techniques are being used to support the development of unmanned space-probes intended to land on other planets in the solar system.  These planetary landers will operate autonomously during landing and will use vision for navigation and guidance down to a safe landing spot.  Suitable vision techniques have been developed but must be extensively tested on realistic test surfaces. A system (LunarSim) for producing realistic simulations of heavily cratered planetary surfaces has been developed to support exhaustive testing of vision guidance software.

  • S. Parkes
    IGARSS 1999
    June 1999

    Data compression has become an important part of a remote sensing instrument, with emphasis being placed on the total information content of data from an instrument rather than simple data quality. Future instruments with higher resolution and more channels (spectral bands for optical instruments and multi-polarisation, multi-frequency operation for synthetic aperture radar) will result in correspondingly higher data rates on-board the satellite. Data compression techniques can reduce the data rates while maintaining good data quality, however, the data compression hardware must be able to handle the high data rates from the sensor. This hardware must also be connected into the on-board data handling system without undue difficulty.

  • S. Parkes
    DASIA (Data Systems in Aerospace) 1999
    May 1999

    SpaceWire is an emerging standard for high-speed data handling which is intended to meet the needs of future, high-capability, remote sensing instruments. SpaceWire is based on two existing commercial standards, IEEE-1355 and LVDS which have been combined and adapted for use on-board spacecraft. This paper provides a detailed description of the proposed SpaceWire standard. Applications and available integrated circuits and boards are described in another paper.

  • S. Parkes, I. Martin, I. Milne
    DASIA (Data Systems in Aerospace) 1999
    May 1999

    Landing on the moon, close to a predetermined target landing spot, in an area of rough terrain, is a difficult task. Accurate navigation relative to the lunar surface is necessary, together with the detection of possible hazards like boulders or steep slopes.  The ESA 3D Planetary Modelling study demonstrated the feasibility of using vision for the guidance of planetary landers.  Vision guidance algorithms were tested using a robotic frame to move a camera above a 2m x 1m physical mock-up of the lunar surface. The use of physical models of a planetary surface for the development and testing of the vision techniques suffers from several problems including difficulty in building and using them and their cost.

  • J. R. Guasch, S. Parkes, A. Christen
    DASIA (Data Systems in Aerospace) 1999
    May 1999
  • S. Parkes
    DASIA (Data Systems in Aerospace) 1999
    May 1999
  • J. Hughes, S. Parkes
    The Sixteenth International Conference on Technology and Education (1999)
    March 1999

    An innovative work placement module exposes computing undergraduates to current working practices in the software industry.  Third year students obtain paid summer employment, taking an active role in a commercial, research or industrial environment.  Industrial supervisors obtain the undergraduate’s services for work relevant to the business, and subsequently contribute to discussions about appropriate skills and the computing curriculum.  Both students and industrialists use work placement as a symbiotic chance for preview, considering potential recruitment.   Students’ communication skills are exercised via job searching, interviews and reports. 

  • S. Parkes, H. L. Clifton
    International Journal of Remote Sensing
    January 1999
  • S. Parkes
    Final Presentation DSP Development Programme (1998)
    December 1998
  • S. Parkes
    Proceedings of 6th International Workshop on Digital Signal Processing Techniques for Space Applications, IEEE (1998)
    September 1998

    The capabilities of remote-sensing instrumentation are developing rapidly. As a consequence the data rates being handled on-board spacecraft are increasing. LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signaling) provides a means of sending data along a twisted pair cable at high speed, with low power and with excellent EMC performance. These features make LVDS ideal for satellite on-board data-handling applications. This paper assesses the suitability of LVDS for space applications as part of a data-handling system based on IEEE 1355 comparing it against other types of line driver/receiver. It explains how LVDS can be used together with IEEE 1355 to form the basis for a powerful on-board data handling system, which is capable of handling data from current and future, high data-rate instruments.

  • S. Parkes
    Proceedings of 6th International Workshop on Digital Signal Processing Techniques for Space Applications, sponsored by IEEE (1998)
    September 1998

    There are a growing number of applications for digital signal and image processing in space. Often these applications are demanding in terms of the processing power required and in the complexity of the algorithms that must be implemented. DSP (Digital Signal Processing) devices offer a blend of high performance and flexibility which is ideal for many of these demanding applications. This paper provides a brief introduction to digital signal processors and to their application in space. It then reviews the research and development activities leading to the the TSC21020E radiation tolerant, 32-bit, floating-point, DSP processor.

  • S. Parkes
    Proceedings of The 32nd ESLAB Symposium on Remote Sensing Methodology for Earth Observation and Planetary Exploration (1998)
    September 1998