On Board Data Handling Group

The activities of our group, led by Dr Chris Bridges, are related to efficient system design involving, cutting-edge micro- and nano- technologies, advanced software developments and biologically inspired artificial intelligence techniques.

Research areas

Single satellite on board date handling upgrades

Single satellites are controlled in many different ways; from radiation-hardened-by-design (RHBD) and custom field programmable gate array designs (FPGA) to implementing and 'ruggedising' modern commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) technologies.

This research stream aims to deliver new OBC hardware and software solutions for small satellite missions and applications towards high throughput/bandwidth processing capabilities at lower power and cost.

Read the payloads/upgrades for single satellites PDF


  • Field programmable gate arrays
  • Graphics processor units
  • Digital signal processors
  • Network on chip

Memory technologies

  • Phase-change-memory
  • Non-volatile materials
  • Solid state memory
  • Bottleneck intefaces

Real-time software

  • Real-time operating systems
  • Parallel programming techniques (imaging)
  • Data and sensor fusion (image SAR data)

Error and fault detection

  • Fault emulation and injection
  • Single to multi-bit errors
  • Fault tolerant bus schemes.

Distributed satellite systems

Distributed satellite systems and missions can offer greater temporal and spatial resolution than single-satellite missions. Utilising close-proximity operations, constellations, or clusters of loosely coupled satellites.

This research stream aims to provide new and novel solutions to hard and soft real time networked multi-node operations. These are particularly different than terrestrial networks and are analogous to highly mobile ad-hoc networks (MANETs) with intermittent connectivity.

Read the distributed satellite systems PDF

COTS integrated devices

  • Wireless sensor Ics 'MOTES'
  • COTS smartphone technologies (STRaND-1)

Distributed computing software

  • Middleware
  • Internet protocols (IP)
  • ESA bus standards (CCSDS)
  • Services oriented architectures
  • Security and encryption

Ground station hardware

  • GENSO support
  • Open bands (ISM)
  • Software defined radios
  • Comms and schemes (QPSK, T/CDMA)

Ground station software

  • Telemetry, telecommand and control
  • GENSO data storage and dissemination
  • Support autonomy.

CubeSat OBC demonstrators

Since 2006, Dr Chris Bridges has been working towards new computing and software payloads and experiments for the low cost and resource constrained CubeSat standard and platform. Leveraging from existing terrestrial technologies, the group explores how the space environment affects microelectronics such as smartphone processors and parallelised image processors through ground testing.

  • Built by our centre and Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd staff and students in their spare time
  • Provides qualification for our AOCS HW and SW
  • Key computing payloads are COTS high performance computer and Nexus-One.

Read the STRaND overview PDF


Read more about the missions our group has helped on.

Meet the team

If you'd like to learn more about what we do then please get in touch.

Postgraduate research students

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Zakaria Bouhanna

Satellite traffic management using radio systems

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Colin Chau

Postgraduate Research Student

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Cameron Harvey

Postgraduate Research Student

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Alaa Eddine Mazouz

Low-cost LIDAR/machine vision for close proximity operations