An image acquisition and processing system has been developed. It is made out of one programmable logic circuit (Field Programmable Gate Array, FPGA) and five low-power processor modules working under Linux. The FPGA acquires images from a camera and transfers them to the processors for analysis and storage. It can ask the processors for their results and forward these to a computer.
The FPGA communicates with the processors via SPI or USB. The processors all have separate links to the FPGA. A protocol has been defined for exchanging images and analysis results. It has been implemented under Yocto Linux.
The FPGA also allows to apply filtering operations to the images on the fly, before transmitting them to the processors.
The system has been designed for environments with a power supply in the range of 1 W, such as typically CubeSats.
Low-Power High-Performance Unit for CubSat - Communication