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 sub-system 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.
- Data processing
- Satellite broadcasting