CDPP - Configurable Data Processing Platform

The project comprised the identification of existing technologies such as signal processors, general purpose microprocessors as well as ASICs and FPGAs, and the design of possible DSP architectures, two of which were evaluated in the course of the project.

Short Description

Many instruments on the payload of Earth observation and science satellites generate large amounts of data. As not all data can be downlinked to the ground via the available telemetry channels, they need to be processed on board the satellites. The data are formatted and compressed using powerful algorithms in order to reduce the amount of data prior to transmission.

The processing of these data requires fast Digital Signal Processing (DSP). The relevant equipment comprises ASICs (Application Specific Integrated Circuits), FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Arrays), a programmable signal processor and, possibly, a micro-processor. New technology is needed to meet the steadily increasing requirements in terms of data processing speed. A number of space missions that require this next technological step are currently in the planning stage.

RUAG Space Austria (RSA) has been active in this technological area for many years, starting with DSP boards for various instru - ments of the MetOp satellite. This was followed by the design of signal on-board processing equipment for navigation signal generators and GPS receivers, such as the Sentinel GPS receiver.

The present activity was a logical step for RSA to maintain and further develop its know-how in digital signal processing and to continue provision of on-board electronics to the space market.

One DSP architecture was selected for the design of a breadboard and the associated software. Furthermore, benchmarks were defined to verify the usability of the concept for selected applications.

Work on the design of the benchmark software as well as the basic software for the processor was supported by the Institute of Computer Engineering of the Vienna University of Technology.

Project Partners


RUAG Space GmbH - Gerald Zeynard


Vienna University of Technology, Institute of Computer Engineering - Andreas Steininger

Contact Address

RUAG Space GmbH
Gerald Zeynard
Stachegasse 16
A-1120 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 80199 - 5729