During a first informal meeting at Fraunhofer FOKUS in Berlin end of August, MEN's Manfred Schmitz was asked by players in the space industry to coordinate the start of a new workgroup with PICMG. Prominent players like Airbus Defence & Space and Thales Alenia Space were present.
The goal of the new technical PICMG sub-committee "Space CompactPCI Serial" is to extend the current CompactPCI Serial specification by a sub-standard covering the specific requirements for space applications.
Topics will include support of additional serial interconnections like SpaceWire, TT-Ethernet and rapid I/O for inter-board communication. Provisions for high availability, fault detection and environmental requirements are also on the task list. One of the major goals is to keep the standard simple and understandable and to guarantee a maximum of interoperability between bus slots and boards.
CompactPCI has a long history in space applications, from the famous "Curiosity" Mars rover to satellite control, or for scientific tasks in the ISS. And even the CompactPCI Serial base specification has the mechanical and conduction cooling technologies needed for space already defined and in place.
Thus, Space CompactPCI Serial is the consequent path to implement high-tech solutions for a highly sophisticated market while re-using and evolving proven industrial technology, reaching significant cost reductions in parallel. A typical application for Space CompactPCI Serial is e.g. the implementation of the platform and the payload controller onboard satellites.
Of course, the PICMG sub-committee Space CompactPCI Serial (in foundation) welcomes new participants. Interested parties are invited to contact PICMG (Joe Pavlat, firstname.lastname@example.org) or MEN (Manfred Schmitz, email@example.com).
I look forward to receiving your comments.