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IET Milsatcoms Online: 9-12 March 2021

RUAG Space has developed a new powerful computer for satellites

(1 December 2020 - RUAG Space) RUAG Space has developed a new powerful computer for satellites called “Lynx”.

The development was achieved with the help of a contract from the European Space Agency’s program of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) and has been done at RUAG Space in Gothenburg, Sweden. “Our computer contains an extreme amount of power”, explains Anders Linder, Senior Vice President Electronics at RUAG Space. Lynx is 250 times more powerful than the normal On Board Computers, which RUAG currently delivers to ESA programs.

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Lynx Single Board Computer (courtesy: RUAG Space)

Computing power for Artificial Intelligence

“We have been very early with this development. This year, we are seeing that Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning is starting to arrive in space development programs and now we have a computer ready that perfectly matches the requirements of these customers”, says Anders Linder. “Customers who want to do Machine Learning in space need a lot of computing power – which our computer can provide.” The Lynx On Board Computer will be qualified for space until end of 2021.

High performance, long life

The Lynx Single Board Computer is designed for a long life in any satellite orbit (e.g. 15 years in geostationary earth orbit) or spacecraft trajectory. The computer offers a high-performance processor, which is provided by an ARM processor delivering 30000 DMIPS (short for Dhrystone MIPS, a computing benchmark). “That is a huge leap forward in processing performance for spaceborne computers”, adds Linder. A powerful FPGA (field-programmable gate array) offers flexibility in terms of communication, interface and processing capability. The computer can be used on the platform or in the payload. For its entire electronics portfolio RUAG Space offers a direct technical interface to U.S. clients in its office in Denver, Colorado.

About RUAG Space

RUAG Space is the leading supplier to the space industry in Europe and has a growing presence in the United States. In total, RUAG Space has about 1,300 employees across six countries. RUAG Space develops and manufactures products for satellites and launch vehicles—playing a key role both in the institutional and commercial space market.

About RUAG International

RUAG International is a Swiss technology group focusing on the aerospace industry. Based in Zurich (Switzerland) and with production sites in 14 countries, the company is divided into four areas: Space, Aerostructures, MRO International and Ammotec. With its strategic focus on aerospace, the company will consist of segments, Aerostructures and Space, in the medium term. RUAG Space is Europe's leading supplier of products used in the aerospace industry. RUAG Aerostructures is a global first-tier supplier in aircraft structure construction. RUAG International employs around 6,000 people.