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Williams, JA, Dawood, AS, Visser, SJ (2003). Reconfigurable onboard processing and real-time remote sensing. IEICE TRANSACTIONS ON INFORMATION AND SYSTEMS, E86D(5), 819-829.

In this paper we present reconfigurable computing as a compelling choice of computing platform for real-time, onboard processing for satellite applications. In particular, we discuss the use of reconfigurable computing in the context of a real-time remote sensing system, providing motivation for such a system and describing attributes of reconfigurable computing that support it as the technology of choice. The High Performance Computing (HPC-I) payload, designed and developed for the Australian scientific satellite FedSat, is introduced as a demonstration of onboard processing in space using reconfigurable logic. We present an overview of the real-time remote sensing system architecture, and describe the design and implementation of three remote sensing algorithms in HPC-I for cloud masking, wildfire detection. and volcanic plume detection. Finally, results from simulation and testing are presented which show very promising performance in terms of data throughput and detection capabilities.



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