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Signal Processing and Spaceborne GNSS Receivers

RUAG Space is a leading supplier of on-board signal processing equipment, specialized in both generation and processing of high-bandwidth signals with superiour accuracy. Advanced mixed (analog and digital) signal processing approaches comprising hard- and software benefit from the extensive systems know-how available in this area. Optimisation and implementation of sophisticated algorithms can be offered.

As one of the first companies in Europe RUAG Space has applied the European programmable digital signal processor TSC 21020 in a large number of space programs. Single processor as well as multi-processor systems have been developed by RUAG Space. Software solutions range from programs in assembler for highly time critical tasks to the application of real time kernels for multitasking DSP processors.

Besides the application of programmable DSPs, Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), representing highly integrated digital components, are developed and widely used by RUAG Space in its DSP equipments. In addition, we have developed proprietary mixed signal processing ASICs as well as analog Radio-Frequency Intergrated Circuits. DSP electronics units have been developed for a wide-field star tracker and a space-borne optical communication terminal. These units provide powerful platforms for the execution of dedicated algorithms. The implementation of complex algorithms, both for image processing and for data compression, has been performed by RUAG Space in equipment on-board the EPS/METOP satellite. These are the IASI earth-observation instrument, the NOAA-Interface Unit and the GPS-Receiver for Atmospheric Sounding (GRAS), which are based on complex, (partly) multiprocessor DSP subsystems. GRAS has been the starting point of our product line of spaceborne high-precision GNSS receivers, directly applicable to Precise Orbit Determination (POD) and Real-Time Platform Navigation and serving as building blocks for our Radio Occultation Instruments.

Signal Processing is also an important part of Instrument Control Units (ICUs), which have been supplied by RUAG Space for numerous European scientific and earth observation satellites in form of high-performance processing subsystems for Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and other instruments. By providing our high-precision wide-band signal generators we cover all signal processing needs for spaceborne microwave instruments. Technologically highly related is our development of the Navigation Signal Generator for the European global navigation satellite system GALILEO, which is already operational on the GIOVE-B satellite and which will be flown on two satellites of the GALILEO In-Orbit Validation Phase, which are planned to be launched in 2010.