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Field of activity

Development of space-qualified hardware and software

The experts from this research group have contributed substantially to the reputation of Graz as a space capital. Expertise from Graz has featured prominently on board of many international space missions in recent years – be it in the form of electronic components, space-qualified software or testing services. Our scientists have accumulated invaluable experience in numerous contract research projects for European, American and Russian space agencies, which now enables them to meet even the toughest demands of the space industry in the development and testing of space-qualified hardware and software.

The fields of activity primarily include the development of devices and systems for manned and unmanned space missions. The team has the mechanical, electronic and software expertise to cover the entire process from concept, design and development through to implementation and testing of space-qualified components.

Electronic components primarily include qualified microcontrollers, or signal processors in the case of computationally intensive applications. Time-critical applications are developed in VHDL and implemented in qualified ACTEL or XILINX FPGAs.
The team has special expertise in the development of precise controlled high-voltage modules for direct and alternating voltage applications up to 15 kV.

Software development is also carried out in compliance with the strict design and verification guidelines specified by international space organisations.

The research group has also been entrusted with the design of mechanical components and systems for the Miller-Urey Experiment to be carried out in a zero-gravity environment on board the International Space Station ISS. Three practically identical systems will be operated under different conditions for a total of 500 hours and then brought back to Earth for analysis. The project is aimed demonstrating the formation of organic compounds under conditions in space.
Special equipment is available for testing and qualifying all components and systems developed: a high-vacuum chamber with a capacity of 1000 l, climatic cabinets with a volume of 300 l and a shaker table for payloads up to 30 kg. This equipment can also be made available to customers.