Ricci, Fred J.; RAMCOR, Inc. (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1986-10)
      With the advent of higher and higher data rates and signal processing requirements for onboard satellite processing, the need for a faster computational capability has grown well beyond the capabilities of existing space-qualified computers. This has become a major technical issue in the design of next-generation satellite systems for commercial and military use. As a matter of fact, it is becoming a major issue in the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), the development of the MILSTAR Satellite System, and in future infrared (IR) and radar satellites/platforms. Future platforms will require larger onboard processing systems than are currently in use in order to satisfy their data processing and commandand-control communications requirements. The platforms of tomorrow will be very sophisticated and therefore expensive. For such systems to have acceptable life-cycle costs, they must be produced from highly reliable hardware that will operate in space for system design lifetimes of up to 10 years. This paper will summarize the processing needs of onboard systems and present a specific example of the design of a VLSI/VHSIC processor for an onboard satellite controller in an airborne platform.