Six Anchor Modes during inspection on Ground at DLR Institute of Space Systems.
DLR (CC-BY 3.0).
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The avionics system is the heart of a space system. All control tasks, all processing of mission data, generation and storage of energy as well as all communication down to the ground are realized by the avionics system. Therefore the reliability of the avionics system is of central importance. At the same time, applications such as complex video data processing or autonomous control require increased computing power without increasing resources in terms of energy or space.
The Avionic Systems department develops subsystems for command and data handling (CDH), power supply and communication, which must meet high reliability requirements. Depending on the mission, the department is responsible for data processing, telemetry/telecommand, power generation/storage/distribution and interfaces between subsystems. At the same time, the department investigates future avionics concepts that aim for high computing power or use cost-effective components. In the department, tasks ranging from electronics development, development of intellectual property cores on register transfer level to application software, as well as the associated test and validation tasks are handled. The comprehensive cross-departmental and cross-institute insight into mission planning, the overall system and the detailed technical development is characteristic of this department.
A high level of detail in the design of central components is essential to master the architecture of the overall system. An example of this is the development of a scalable on-board computer (OBC), which can be adapted with regard to essential parameters. This includes technical aspects such as the number of interfaces, the redundancy concept or the processors and non-technical areas such as lifetime or costs. This level of detail also allows deep insights into accompanying processes such as testing and validation of the overall system, and thus also enables research into design methodology. Here, model-based approaches are the focus of the department's research.
Overall, these activities support DLR research missions and provide research contributions to the technology of space systems.