"Fault Tolerant Virtex 4 ReConfigurable Computer for Space Based On-Board Processing"

Paul L Murray
SEAKR Engineering, Inc.


A modular, scalable processor architecture has been designed and developed to enable high performance reconfigurable processing for space applications.  The processor developed will provide real-time processing for the ARTEMIS Hyperspectral instrument that will fly on the TacSat-3 mission.  It uses an array of Xilinx Virtex-4 LX16 FPGAs along with a G4 PowerPC Single Board Computer to allow real-time processing of HSI data that provides direct downlink of target cues and target chips to the warfighter.  This paper describes system-level issues and solutions for space-based high performance reconfigurable computing.  Technology challenges that include: Xilinx FPGAs, PowerPCs, thermal, power, radiation tolerance, and fault tolerance are detailed and solutions are presented.  The paper also details the flexibility and application independence of this processing architecture.


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