SpaceWire: spacecraft onboard data-handling network

S. Parkes, P. Armbruster

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contribution

    5 Citations (Scopus)


    The SpaceWire data-handling network is being used on many ESA, NASA and JAXA spacecraft and by other space agencies, research organisations and space industry across the world. Space Wire is designed to connect together high data-rate sensors, processing units, memory sub-systems and the down link telemetry sub-system. It provides high-speed (2 Mbits/s to 200 Mbits/s), bi-directional, full-duplex, data links which connect the SpaceWire enabled equipment. Networks can be built to suit particular applications using point-to-point data links and routing switches. Application information is sent along a SpaceWire link in discrete packets. One of the main advantages of SpaceWire is its low complexity (low gate count) and the fact that it can be implemented easily in both ASICs and FPGAs. SpaceWire is supported by several radiation tolerant ASICs designed by or for ESA, NASA and JAXA, and extensive test and development equipment is available. This paper provides an introduction to SpaceWire aimed at project managers and system engineers. It describes how SpaceWire can be used to implement data-handling architectures matched to mission requirements and illustrates this with some examples. Finally an overview of the latest developments in SpaceWire is included.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Astronautical Federation - 59th International Astronautical Congress 2008, IAC 2008
    Number of pages11
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008
    Event59th International Astronautical Congress - Glasgow, United Kingdom
    Duration: 29 Sept 20083 Oct 2008


    Conference59th International Astronautical Congress
    Abbreviated titleIAC 2008
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    Internet address


    • Bi-directional
    • Data link
    • Data-rate
    • Down links
    • Full-duplex
    • Gate count
    • High-speed
    • Latest development
    • Low complexity
    • Mission requirements
    • Point data
    • Processing units
    • Project managers
    • Radiation tolerant
    • Routing switches
    • Space agency
    • Space industry
    • Sub-systems
    • Syste engineers
    • Application specific integrated circuits
    • NASA
    • Space flight
    • Spacecraft
    • SpaceWire


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