High-performance data processing unit for AI applications

More AI power locked in the hardware

Lion is a data processing unit for advanced operations with the use of artificial intelligence and on-board data processing. The Lion DPU is dedicated to micro and small satellites weighing between 50 and 500kg.

Lion is developed to process multi-dimensional and multi-sensor data in orbit and is composed of high-performance COTS components that satisfy the processing power, high reliability, and memory bandwidth demands for a wide range of missions. Combined with The Herd (our library of AI-powered on-board data processing algorithms), this technology will connect the eyes (sensors) with the brain (DPU), thus enabling artificial intelligence to ensure autonomous decision-making in situ.

Are you interested in on-board data processing?

Lion is built out of 3 key elements

Data Processing Unit

The DPU is equipped with specialised components it is able to perform continuous and dynamic correction of errors that may occur in space

Thermal Accumulation System

The system reduces the adverse effects of temperature cycling on the risk of failure and enables the averaging of temperatures and thus prolongs lifetime

Customised DPU management software

Smooth communication with other subsystems; telemetry data collection, monitoring and provision; management and running of data processing algorithms

It supports challenging activities allowing, for example, close-proximity operations through vision-based relative navigation between two spacecraft for active debris removal or in-orbit servicing.

The Lion DPU hardware platform is composed of the Kintex Ultrascale FPGA with an accompanying external supervisor which provides single-event effects (SEE) and single-event functional interrupt (SEFI) protections, including configuration memory scrubbing and specialized watchdogs.

Thanks to the built-in bootloader, the external supervisor can update itself and reprogram the Kintex Ultrascale FPGA in-flight. Lion is also equipped with up to 8 GiB of DDR4, up to 16 SLC NAND Flash, and up to 1 TiB of SSD storage. The developed thermal storage system can extend the on-orbit operation of the DPU to at least five years.

Lion is a part of Smart Mission Ecosystem – hardware, software and AI-powered algorithms designed to complete your mission.


PROCESSING CORESXilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA: KU035| KU060| KU095
Kintex Ultrascale FPGA for custom function implementation
Optional Microblaze soft-core running on Kintex equipped with an external 4 MiB of MRAM in which the application software may be loaded by an external supervisor
3x64 MiB of NOR Flash to store FPGA bitstreams
Multiple FPGA bitstreams can be stored and selected for in-flight loading
MEMORY 2-8 GiB DDR4 providing with ECC
4-16 GiB SLC flash-based file system storage (EDAC)
Up to 4x256 GiB of SLC flash-based data storage (possible redundancy)
INTERFACESExposed interfaces: CAN, LVDS, RS422/485, UART, GTH transceivers
Additional customisable interfaces upon request: SpaceWire Lite, SpaceWire RMAP, Gigabit Ethernet
LVDS/RS422 interfaces compatible with X/S-Band radios
CCSDS-compatible IP-cores for X/S/Ku-Band radios upon request
SPECIFICATIONSUp to 15W at the KU035 version with the option of scaling up for a more powerful FPGA
TID resistance - minimum 20kRad
Embedded SEU and SEFI mitigation techniques – MRAM-equipped supervisor, Kintex’s CRAM scrubbing by external supervisor, SEFI detection, RAM scrubbing, etc.
Thermal control system for SpaceVPX version heatsink with wedge locks that provide a thermal interface to a carrier box
Client-driven customisation available upon request
A PCM-based thermal control system available upon request
SOFTWARE ECOSYSTEMBoth Supervisor and Microblaze can run FreeRTOS (default) or RTEMS
Linux support on Microblaze available upon request
AI-based neural network engine running on Microblaze, accelerated by FPGA upon request
OpenCV support available upon request
Fully reconfigurable in orbit (Supervisor software and Kintex’s bitstreams can be uploaded from the ground station)
REDUNDANCYPossibility to introduce additional redundancy to each version
FORM-FACTORSpaceVPX 3U (mass up to 2.5 kg) or a custom form factor

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