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.

NASA is seeking partners to further develop this technology through joint cooperative research and development. For more information about this technology and to explore opportunities, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 301-286-5810. Follow this link for more information: here.