4Links at SmallSat in August 2012
4Links exhibited at the SmallSat 2012 conference in Logan, UT, in August 2012.
We demonstrated our test equipment for SpaceWire. Particular interest was shown in the low-level error reporting of our Diagnostic SpaceWire Interface and in network-wide recordings using multiple Multi-link SpaceWire Recorders. The ability to synchronise time-tags across all of these units (to a resolution of around 3ns) was seen to be particularly powerful. We also discussed a prototyping board that we use to create bespoke SpaceWire interfaces for our customers.
This year at SmallSat, CubeSats were more in evidence than in previous years. Whilst we concluded that a 1U CubeSat might not need to incorporate SpaceWire, larger (up to 6U) CubeSat designs would benefit from the interconnect modularity of SpaceWire to match the mechanical modularity of CubeSats.
A concern heard from a few SpaceWire users is that some SpaceWire implementations are still not fully interoperable with some others. We also heard plenty of examples, from our customers and users, of where 4Links SpaceWire test equipment has provided the information needed to resolve such incompatibility issues. 4Links products themselves have an excellent track-record of interoperability, with no bugs reported in our SpaceWire implementation from when the first EtherSpaceLink unit was delivered, in 2004.
North American customers can buy 4Links products in North America from Aeroflex Colorado Springs, who also exhibited at SmallSat.
Despite growing ever larger, SmallSat 2012 was again superbly organised, friendly and good value.