VPU Industrial Team
The photo above is of the EADS Astrium UK team currently working on the development of the Video Processing Units (VPUs) for Gaia. Astrium UK, is one of the most experienced space companies in Europe, and members of this team have recently been involved in projects such as Skynet 5, Radarsat-2, the Galileo programme, Arabsat, Hotbird, Inmarsat 4, ESA's next generation Crypto processor and the development of the Gaia phased array antenna.
A total of 7 identical VPUs will be required for the Gaia flight model. Each VPU handles data from one of the seven CCD rows of the focal plane assembly. VPU functionality covers collecting, processing and compression of data from the CCDs, generation of auxiliary science data, and transmission of data to the payload data handling unit where it is stored for subsequent transmission to the ground stations at Cebreros (Spain) and New Norcia (Australia). Both software and hardware elements will be used to implement the required functionality. The first Flight Model unit (one of 7 plus 1 spare) will be delivered in June 2009.
The picture, taken during a recent team day in the UK, is courtesy of Peter Bennie (EADS Astrium, UK). A larger picture identifying everyone can be see here.
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