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FPGA Implementation of a Space-qualified CubeSat GPS receiver using SmartFusion II

ACSER has developed space-qualified GPS receiver (i.e. Namuru V3.2 Biarri receiver) which will be used in CubeSat missions by the Australian Defence Organisation DSTO and also will soon be flown on the QB50 multi-university CubeSat mission.

However, the Biarri receiver which uses ACTEL’s SmartFusion I is due for a hardware upgrade that will reduce the hardware footprint of the current generation receiver, thus reducing its mass and allowing more space for added functionality.

In the upgrade process where the dual-chip design will be replaced by a single System-on-Chip SmartFusion II, the firmware of the current Biarri receiver will need to be revamped and enhanced to fully utilise the functionalities of the new SmartFusion II.

The successful applicant will gain experience in the re-design and upgrade process of space-grade embedded systems which is a highly appreciable skill in the industry. The expected outcome is a demonstration of a prototype SmartFusion II integrated GPS receiver.

The GPS receiver has to be tested and verified in on-orbit space scenarios using the GPS signal simulator. This project will also present the verification results in the form of a report at the end of this project.

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