Aerospace community partners to advance SpaceVPX industry standard, sensor open systems architecture

PHOENIX, 20 Jan. 2015. Aerospace platform and systems designers partner to advance SpaceVPX standard and Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) for current and future space and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs, explains Patrick Collier, senior electrical research engineer and deputy program manager, Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) in Albuquerque, N.M.

Aerospace community partners to advance SpaceVPX industry standard, sensor open systems architecture
Aerospace community partners to advance SpaceVPX industry standard, sensor open systems architecture
PHOENIX, 20 Jan. 2015. Aerospace platform and systems designers partner to advance SpaceVPX standard and Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) for current and future space and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) programs, explains Patrick Collier, senior electrical research engineer and deputy program manager, Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) in Albuquerque, N.M.

Legacy space electronics are one-off systems, re-use is not a priority, internal interfaces are often proprietary and application-specific, and modules are not designed to interoperate, Collier says.

With no standard, “the prime contractor has a central role for the life of the system.”

The SpaceVPX standard addresses interoperability and space application needs, as well as defines payload, switch, controller, and backplane. SpaceVPX is intended to give customers the best possible choice, and the flexibility to meet their needs with cost in mind, Collier explains.

SpaceVPX was approved via VITA Standards Organization (VSO) Public Review on 7 Dec. 2014. Multiple vendors have adopted the specification, and prototype products are to be available in Q3/Q4 2015, Collier affirms.

SpaceVPX has gained interest from multiple NASA centers and the European Space Agency (ESA), as well as multiple Tier I and Tier II vendors. SpaceVPX also is under evaluation by Thales Alenia Space.

“It’s the customers that want this,” Collier adds. “They are driving this to industry, and industry is going to want to adopt this to deliver what the customers want.”

Similarly, the Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) is designed for use across the intelligent, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) community to maximize platform and system affordability, re-configurability, performance, and reuse.

Develop an open systems, agile, platform-agnostic ISR payload architecture which will serve as an enabler for future ISR systems and associated upgrades. Of particular interest is an architecture that handles the demanding data requirements of ISR and accommodates future upgrades.

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