Reconfigurable Onboard Processing and Real-Time Remote Sensing

John A. WILLIAMS  Anwar S. DAWOOD  Stephen J. VISSER  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E86-D   No.5   pp.819-829
Publication Date: 2003/05/01
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Reconfigurable Computing)
reconfigurable logic,  real time,  remote sensing,  onboard processing,  

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In this paper we present reconfigurable computing as a compelling choice of computing platform for real-time, onboard processing for satellite applications. In particular, we discuss the use of reconfigurable computing in the context of a real-time remote sensing system, providing motivation for such a system and describing attributes of reconfigurable computing that support it as the technology of choice. The High Performance Computing (HPC-I) payload, designed and developed for the Australian scientific satellite FedSat, is introduced as a demonstration of onboard processing in space using reconfigurable logic. We present an overview of the real-time remote sensing system architecture, and describe the design and implementation of three remote sensing algorithms in HPC-I for cloud masking, wildfire detection and volcanic plume detection. Finally, results from simulation and testing are presented which show very promising performance in terms of data throughput and detection capabilities.