Video Management Unit – VMU
The VMU is a generic COTS-based rugged video and data processor, originally developed as an upgrade for ESA’s Fluid Science Lab (FSL) on ISS Columbus and designed to manage state-of-the-art scientific cameras and sensors.
The system contains a radiation tolerant space-grade commercial computer unit for system monitoring and management, and for interfacing to the payload host (Columbus / FSL in the case of FSL VMU MkII). These data interfaces are implemented via MIL-STD-1553B, optical TAXI and discrete lines. Gigabit Ethernet can be used instead. Towards the scientific instruments, a multitude of standard and custom interfaces are provided: GigE, USB 2.0, LVDS, RS422 UART, RS232 UART, and bidirectional LVTTL/RS422 trigger lines. A powerful Intel Core i7 based ruggedised industrial grade CompactPCI Serial computer is provided for interfacing the scientific instruments and performing data storage, compression, routing, on-line processing and offline processing. The system also provides TCL-based scripting facilities for effective scientific experiment run execution. 2 TB of on-board storage is provided through an array of harddisks. Data downlink to ground is provided through an optical TAXI interface or via Gigabit Ethernet. The boards of the CompactPCI can easily be replaced by a crew in case of failure. This mitigates the reliability concerns related to the use of industrial grade COTS boards.
The FSL VMU MkII system developed for FSL was customised at the level of power, data, thermal, and mechanical interfaces. Different configurations are possible. Changing the type of data interfaces is made easy through the use of the industry-standard CompactPCI Serial platform. Customisation of the data handling and processing is made easy through the use of a Linux platform, with packetised software management. In its initial configuration, power consumption is around 100W, weight around 23kg, and volume around 90,000cm3 . Options for a mass of 18kg and volume of 45,000cm3 are available. High performance Military-grade circular connectors are used throughout (except on the COTS boards), while integrated EMI/power filtering is designed to meet power input voltage, spikes, surges, transients, and EMI/EMC compatibility requirements of typical space deployments.
High-performance scientific video and data acquisition with advanced synchronisation and time-tagging functionality, and custom data processing, storage and routing
- Custom data acquisition and processing
- Unit support
- Unit customisation
- Mobility / Rover Operations
- Traverse planning & Execution
- Space Weather Services
- Robotics operations
- Mission / System Simulator