Exploring interoperability of space-qualified fibre optic transceivers

Nick Kabawa, Keith Wilcox, Steve Parkes (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The rapid increase in data demands for space applications underscores the need for advanced communication solutions. Fibre optics, offering high throughput and immunity to electrical noise, emerges as an ideal choice for on-board spacecraft communications. It is important to have multiple sources of interoperable fibre optic components to support the adoption of fibreoptic communications in space applications. This paper reports on an ongoing study which is assessing the interoperability of space-qualified fibreoptic transceivers from three different manufacturers(Smiths Interconnect, Alter, and Samtec) through practical tests. Tests include the establishment of SpaceFibre (SpFi) links utilising STAR-Ultra PCIe boards using the AMD Kintex UltraScale XCKU060FPGA. The performance of the SpaceFibre links are then evaluated in different setups and configurations using the STAR-Ultra link analyser system and the AMD Integrated Bit Error Ratio Tester (IBERT) IP core. This work demonstrates that recent advancements in hardware and protocol levels have significantly enhanced the compatibility of transceivers. The successful operation of devices from various manufacturers in a unified system underpins the broader adoption of fibre optics in spacecraft on-board applications.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2024
EventData Systems in Areospace - Ambasador Hotel, Opatija, Croatia
Duration: 28 May 202430 May 2024
Conference number: 2024


ConferenceData Systems in Areospace
Abbreviated titleDASIA
Internet address


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