FPGA-based operational concept and payload data processing for the Flying Laptop satellite

Toshinori Kuwahara, Felix Böhringer, Albert Falke, Jens Eickhoff, Felix Huber, Hans Peter Röser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Flying Laptop is the first small satellite developed by the Institute of Space Systems at the Universität Stuttgart. It is a test bed for an on-board computer with a reconfigurable, redundant and self-controlling high computational ability based on the field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). This Technical Note presents the operational concept and the on-board payload data processing of the satellite. The designed operational concept of Flying Laptop enables the achievement of mission goals such as technical demonstration, scientific Earth observation, and the payload data processing methods. All these capabilities expand its scientific usage and enable new possibilities for real-time applications. Its hierarchical architecture of the operational modes of subsystems and modules are developed in a state-machine diagram and tested by means of MathWorks Simulink-/Stateflow Toolbox. Furthermore, the concept of the on-board payload data processing and its implementation and possible applications are described.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1616-1627
Number of pages12
JournalActa Astronautica
Issue number11-12
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Dec


  • Data handling
  • FPGA
  • Image processing
  • Operational design
  • Small satellite


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