The team of specialized processor chip designers at U-Idaho were able to implement these difficult algorithms and create high speed versions suitable for various space missions. They tested the processor chips in October. Aeroflex, a company in Colorado Springs is now testing for flight qualification.
"We at NASA are extremely fortunate to have the U-Idaho team developing these chips from given algorithms," says Yeh. "The team's capability allows high-end specialized space processors to be developed at a budget level considered 'shoe-string' by industry standards. I hope other NASA centers and maybe other government agencies can benefit from this capability and the developed technology."
Generally speaking, two of the chips - the Discrete Wavelet Transformer and Bit Plane Encoder compress data to be sent back to Earth. "If we didn't produce these chips, instruments on the MMS satellites would have to greatly reduce science data return or use an inferior technique with less performance," Yeh said. The third chip the Low Density Parity Check encoder, adds redundancy information to data before it is transmitted to Earth. This allows for error corrections caused by signal degradation. A fourth chip, the previously developed lossless data compression chip called Universal Source Encoder for Space and the newly developed LDPC channel coder will be implemented in the LDCM mission.
LDCM is the future of Landsat satellites. It will continue to obtain valuable data and imagery to be used in agriculture, education, business, science, and government. The Landsat Program provides repetitive acquisition of medium resolution near-infrared and visible data of the Earth's surface on a global basis.
The MMS will have four spacecraft acting in concert to measure the three-dimensional stru
|Contact: Rob Gutro|
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center