Engineers at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center’s Satellite Services Projects Division (SSPD) have designed a high-performance, space-qualified video distribution and storage unit for Restore-L, a spacecraft that will rendezvous, grasp, refuel, and relocate client spacecraft. While previous spaceflight-qualified technologies existed on the market, none provided the performance and capabilities provided by NASA-GSFCs VDSU. The VDSU is a single subsystem that provides all the features required for the Restore-L mission: reconfigurable from the ground, fault-tolerant, high-performance, low-power, and highly capable.
VDSU controls and receives video from up to 24 monochrome/color digital cameras and other sensors, acts as a video router, provides simultaneous JPEG2000 compression on multiple sources, and provides solid-state data recording functionality. The unit is radiation-hardened by a Virtex 5 FPGA, and provides embedded processor support with high-performance external DD2 memory. It includes a bank of radiation-qualified and environmentally screened commercial ADV212 JPEG2000 video codecs, each including individual latchup current limiters, allowing for independent reset and reconfiguration. A space-qualified processor configures, monitors, and scrubs the Virtex 5 FPGA. VDSU provides video router functionality through a novel, high-speed, multi-channel interface that utilizes innovative cable skew management. Output is in the form of multiplexed, multi-channel, JPEG2000 compressed LVDS video. The VDSU possesses a bank of NAND flash memory, and the ability to store and play back compressed video from this memory. In summary, the VSDU provides extremely high-performance all-in-one distribution, processing, JPEG2000 compression, and solid-state recording in a low-power, compact system.