Gaia video processing unit test model delivered
13 February 2009The Gaia video processing unit (VPU) development activity has recently been finalized with the delivery of the engineering model (EM) from Astrium UK to Astrium France. The unit is responsible for the real-time processing and commanding of star data transmitted by the focal plane assembly.
The VPU incorporates a dedicated Astrium-developed pre-processing board, and for the bulk of the processing, a SCS750 PowerPC board from Maxwell Technologies, Inc., of San Diego, USA.
Each of these units (seven in parallel will be operating on Gaia) exhibits a processing power of more than 1000 MIPS. With such a vast processing power, Gaia will contain more number-crunching capability and flexibility than any other ESA-built satellite.
The Maxwell SCS750 board has recently successfully passed the Equipment Suitability Review where all aspects of its qualification programme and its suitability for use on Gaia were assessed.
Both the algorithm development teams in Astrium France (Toulouse) and the VPU development teams in Astrium UK (Stevenage and Portsmouth) have through these milestones proven their competance and dedication to the success of Gaia.