The Interstellar H2020 Project
The Interstellar project is funded by the EU Commission and Teledyne e2v is leading the development of two data converters to help bridge the RF world. These are an Analog-to-Digital (ADC) converter and a Digital-to-Analog (DAC) converter. The Interstellar project is a consortium led by Teledyne e2v and supported by Thales Alenia Space, Airbus Defence and Space and the Franhofer Institute. The total budget for the project is 7.3 million Euros and the EU has contributed 6.2 million Euros of this. Teledyne e2v is investing even further into the project to drive the progresses of the data converter technology.
The data converters
The first device developed under the Interstellar project is a four-channel ADC named EV12AQ600. With sampling speeds up to 6 GSPs, the device offers ultra-wide input bandwidth, flexibility and high-speed serial outputs. The second device to be developed under the Interstellar project will be a multi-channel DAC, reconstructing beyond 6 GSPs it offers multi-Nyquist output bandwidth, configurable modes and high-speed serial inputs.
Using a European semiconductor technology, the new converters target performances beyond today’s state-of-the-art to ensure their competitiveness. To achieve the challenging objectives set, the four partners will leverage their intimate knowledge in space technology. Teledyne e2v as the coordinator, is in charge of design, manufacturing and test activities.
Airbus Defence & Space from the UK and Thales Alenia Space based in France are two major European space companies and bring a key contribution to the project as end-users of space data converters – guiding initial requirements and evaluating the devices under relevant conditions. The Fraunhofer Institute from Germany significantly contributes to the project with reference PCBs hosting the new ADC and DAC, thus enabling detailed device evaluation and enhancing the dissemination of the results. Teledyne e2v, based in Grenoble, France is leading this consortium and assembling such honed skills within a fruitful cooperation, promises to make the Interstellar project a great success for the European space industry.
Such devices facilitate innovative Rx-to-Tx signal chain solutions for satellite telecommunications, earth observation, navigation and scientific missions. One application enabled by ADC and DACs is the mapping and monitoring of the Earth’s terrain using a Synthetic Aperture Radar system. Using radar in this way allows scientists to map and monitor the health of our world for a variety of critical studies. This includes earthquake protection, tsunami monitoring, monitoring the growth of trees, predicting and monitoring floods, assessing conditions of glaciers and monitoring the health of water sources.
For more information on the Interstellar Project, visit the official website: www.h2020-interstellar.eu