CubeSat Electronics
RPM Associates Technical Consulting

Aquila Space, Inc. has designed, manufactured, and launched several small satellites — CubeSats. This project required obtaining images from three sensors that operate at different wavelengths in the visible/near-IR spectrum. Each sensor is 10000 x 7096 pixels, for a total image content of 2.6 Gbits per frame. A lot of data! The sensors are interfaced by three ADC chips on a custom FMC board that connects to an Opal Kelly XEM7350 board, where a Xilinx Kintex-7 FPGA stores the images in local DDR3 memory. A high-speed USB3 link allows image transfer to a Linux single-board computer containing an SSD drive. As the satellite reaches orbital positions accessible by ground stations, it transmits the accumulated images via an RF link.