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ADAS Project

Project Title   Advanced earth observation Data Acquisition System
Project Acronym   ADAS
Contractor(s)   Alcatel Bell Space NV, Kongsberg Spacetec AS
Project Context

Context   Top

The versatility of an Earth Observation data acquisition station is highly determined by the performance characteristics of its demodulator section. The increasing diversity in the characteristics of the communication links used by advanced EO satellites require throughputs ranging from a few up to several hundreds Mbit/s, as well as the support of a wide spectrum of transmission schemes. Therefore a multi-mission demodulator is the basis to receive multiple satellite missions with the same ground station infrastructure. 
A multi-mission demodulator/decoder can, thanks to the intervened technological evolution, be integrated with other functions, which could expand its capabilities into adjacent functions such as: 

  Image Frequency conversion
  Image Data ingestion (with intermediate storage management)
  Image Front-end processing
  Image Modulation & coding (e.g.: for integrated equipment test)

Objectives   Top

The OMNISAT Earth Observation (EO) demodulator is a truly multimission demodulator and companion modulator compatible with most EO satellites. This equipment has been successfully applied in a number of ESA stations for ENVISAT reception or for station upgrades. OMNISAT is as well widely adopted worldwide.
The aim of this activity is to expand the features covered by the present equipment to other adjacent functions in the EO receiving chain, as well as to provide a solution capable of the considered next EO missions. This allows to address the market segmentation that is presently taking place, as reported by contacts with present customers and market surveys.

The principle project objective is threefold.

  Image The first objective is to reduce the overall cost of ownership for the receiving and data acquisition functions within an E.O acquisition station by the integration of most functions into one multimission equipment fully supporting a remote operational concept. The integration of all functions into one equipment clearly reduces the overall equipment cost and station integration costs. The multimission capability of the equipment allows for operators to reduce drastically the equipment quantity in multimission stations. It allows for N/N+1 redundancy policy and provides operators flexibility in the upgrade scheme for their stations. Unmanned operation will be foreseen for automated activity scheduling, self diagnose capability through self testing. The equipment will incorporate the functionality for support of the station diagnostic and calibration.
  Image The second objective is to provide a solution compatible with the new EO missions. The clear evolution in higher downstream throughput requires the capability to support higher datarates for demodulation and decoding. Additionally in the definition of the demodulator requirements X-band and Ka-band reception will be considered.
  Image The third objective is to design a modular solution capable to address several market segments. The high end segment is characterised by high technical performance requirement, low degradation with high data throughput. At the low end side, a very large community of local users want to acquire & process their own data. In an answer to the launch of these direct broadcast missions, they need highly integrated solutions at low cost.

Architecture   Top

The ADAS system is composed of several components (see diagram below).
The basic building blocks that are developed are:

  Image High Data Rate Demodulator (HDRD)
  Image High Data Rate Modulator (HDRM)
  Image X-Band DownConverter (XDBC)
  Image Data Ingest and Front End Processing (DIFEP)
  Image Monitoring & Control function and GUI

Based on these building blocks different equipment configurations will be possible. The ADAS Host Computer is an Industrial PC (IPC), running the Linux operating system. It has an integrated front panel TFT screen and a drawer with a keyboard and pointing device (touchpad, trackball or other). The host computer contains the processor board (SBC - Single Board Computer) and the ADAS specific boards (XBDC, HDRD, HDRM, DIFEP). Either an internal disk, or an external SCSII disk array is used for storage of acquired and processed data.


Capabilities   Top

The ADAS system has the following key capabilities:

  Image Supports a wide range of current and planned missions
  Image Processes telemetry from radio frequency (X-band) to Front End Processing (FEP: production of annotated raw data, VCDU, ISP) when in full configuration
  Image Recovers BPSK, QPSK, SQPSK, UQPSK, AQPSK signals (evolution to 8PSK)
  Image Supports a maximum input bit rate of 500 Mbit/sec (QPSK. 250 Mbit/sec I and Q channels)
  Image Saves telemetry data to disk in real time
  Image Distributes telemetry data over a network
  Image Supports loop-back testing
  Image Supports quicklook display

Output   Top

ADAS will provide ESA with an integrated earth observation data acquisisition system, able to Processes telemetry from radio frequency (X-band) to Front End Processing and supporting a wide range of current and future missions. The system will be validated in an ESA station using the CRYO, ALOS and ENVISAT missions.

The final presentation is available.


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