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Satellite Image and Signal Processing System


On-board Modular Signal and Image Processing System for Small Ecological Monitoring Satellites

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-MIN/Monitoring and Instrumentation/Environment
  • INF-COM/High Performance Computing and Networking/Information and Communications
  • INF-ELE/Microelectronics and Optoelectronics/Information and Communications
  • INF-IMA/High-Definition Imaging and Displays/Information and Communications
  • INF-SIG/Sensors and Signal Processing/Information and Communications
  • INF-SOF/Software/Information and Communications
  • SAT-UNM/Unmanned Spacecraft/Space, Aircraft and Surface Transportation

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences / Institute of Radioengineering and Electronics, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • All-Russian Research Institute of Electromechanics, Russia, Moscow\nELVIS, Russia, Moscow reg., Zelenograd


  • Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt e.V. / Institut für Hochfrequenztechnik, Germany, Oberpfaffenhofen

Project summary

Two participants of the project – IRE RAS and SIC ELVIS – during a number of years have carried out joint work on creation of DSP (digital signal processing) systems. Using special algorithms and special architectural decisions, both coordinated with signal processing, has resulted in designing of high performance VLSI (very large scale integrated) chips suitable for signals and images processing of sensors mounted on satellites. Besides, SIC ELVIS possesses a special modular technology intended for onboard-embedded computer systems of aerospace applications. Combination of both of these components, created in SIC ELVIS, namely a special modular technology and VLSI chip designs, will provide the technological basis of the project.
IRE RAS in 1983-86 has carried out the planet Venus radar survey data processing from “Venus 15 and 16” spacecrafts, and as a result, the first Atlas of the Surface of Venus was created. Besides, in 1990-91 IRE RAS carried out data processing from high-resolution radar mounted on the “Almaz-1” satellite intended for ecological monitoring of the Earth.
The third participant of the project – VNIIEM – has developed a line of small satellite projects intended for hydrometeorological and ecological monitoring of an environment. A small satellite methodology (weight up to 250 kgs) was chosen for economic reasons. The sensors of both optical (scanner, television camera, spectrometer) and radio (radar, radiometer) observation can be mounted on these satellites. The received information should be transferred to the Earth consumers in real time; however, its volume requires using a high-speed downlink and an expensive stationary ground reception station.
The aim of the proposed project is to develop an onboard computer system for preliminary processing of signals and images with the purpose of their adaptation to the ground consumer and reduction of downlink data volume without significant loss of quality. Depending on the sensor, the processing can consist of, for example, a synthesis of the radar image, geometric and radiometric correction, and compression of optical, radiothermal, and radar images. For definiteness sake of the project, an onboard data processing system for high-resolution radar is chosen, based on the IRE RAS specialist's professional experience.
An onboard processing will radically simplify the function of a ground station and its equipment, which will become inexpensive and light. As a result, a ground station will become a mobile one, and it can be moved to where run time ecological observations are required.
Functionally the onboard processing system will consist of a control processor on a basis of VLSI chip of RISC-architecture (this architecture type of microprocessor is directed to fast and effective realization of rather small instruction set) and DSP-accelerators constructed on the basis of signal processing VLSI chips with original architecture. The number of accelerator modules will depend on required performance.
SIC ELVIS disposes of system development tools, which are essential for automated designing of both signal processing VLSI chips and accelerator modules.
Realization of the proposed project will become a basis for creation of an onboard processing system for small satellites, intended for ecological monitoring, and it will allow a solution to the problem of ecological information availability for a wide circle of end-consumers. In the case that the proposed project is accepted by the International Science and Technology Center and is successfully realized, SIC ELVIS will accomplish a further completion of the project designing and the onboard processing system manufacturing.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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