Next Generation Mass Memory Unit

The MMU-NXT study seeks to cre­ate a new archi­tec­ture for Mass Mem­o­ry Units (MMUs), improv­ing stor­age capac­i­ty and data rate. Achieved by lever­ag­ing state-of-the-art NAND flash tech­nol­o­gy and sep­a­rat­ing the sys­tem into a Com­mand and Con­trol Mod­ule and Mass Mem­o­ry Mod­ule, the design ensures effi­cient high data rate han­dling. Per­for­mance boasts include an aggre­gat­ed data rate of 20 Gbps, 48 Tib­it stor­age capac­i­ty, and mul­ti­ple inter­faces, set­ting the ground­work for func­tion­al­i­ties like data recep­tion, stor­age, and prepa­ra­tion for down­link, error man­age­ment, and telecom­mand han­dling.



seeks to revolutionize on-board data processing, compression, and storage for SAR applications in satellite technology

The SOPHOS study aims to devel­op advanced on-board data pro­cess­ing, com­pres­sion, and stor­age solu­tions for Syn­thet­ic Aper­ture Radar (SAR) appli­ca­tions. As the num­ber of satel­lites and their capa­bil­i­ties grow, a robust sys­tem, inte­grat­ing tra­di­tion­al high-reli­a­bil­i­ty com­po­nents and mod­ern indus­tri­al COTS tech­nolo­gies, is need­ed for small satel­lites. SOPHOS will enhance space­craft effi­cien­cy by opti­miz­ing pay­load pro­cess­ing and data stor­age sys­tems, minia­tur­iz­ing high-per­for­mance hard­ware, and inte­grat­ing state-of-the-art tech­nolo­gies. This approach will enable high­er data prod­uct per­for­mance, par­tic­u­lar­ly in small and nanosatel­lite plat­forms, meet­ing the ris­ing demands of data-inten­sive space appli­ca­tions like SAR earth obser­va­tion.



The future of 3D communication, combining ground, aerial, & satellite networks for seamless connectivity

Cur­rent mobile net­works, which are ter­res­tri­al and two-dimen­sion­al, suf­fer from inad­e­quate cov­er­age and insuf­fi­cient capac­i­ty in cer­tain sit­u­a­tions. The 6G-Take­Off project aims to address these issues by devel­op­ing a uni­fied 3D com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work that com­bines ground-based nodes with fly­ing net­work nodes like satel­lites, drones, and high-alti­tude plat­forms. This inno­v­a­tive 3D net­work will have fea­tures like dynam­ic real­lo­ca­tion of net­work func­tion­al­i­ties and autonomous con­nec­tiv­i­ty man­age­ment. The imple­men­ta­tion of such a net­work requires the com­bined efforts of the aero­space and telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions indus­tries. The 6G-Take­Off project seeks to lead this ini­tia­tive, cre­at­ing a robust plat­form for next-gen­er­a­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tion.



Aims to advance wearable BCG technology through sensor miniaturization and to add a user-friendly, data-rich GUI

The DR.BEAT project aims to fur­ther devel­op a sen­sor sys­tem, cre­at­ed by DSI, for cap­tur­ing Bal­lis­to­car­dio­g­ra­phy (BCG) sig­nals. The updat­ed sys­tem will fea­ture AI-assist­ed sig­nal pro­cess­ing, data analy­sis, and visu­al­iza­tion. The project aims to minia­tur­ize the sys­tem, main­tain­ing high sig­nal qual­i­ty, to enable inte­gra­tion into wear­able devices or smart tex­tiles. The sys­tem will rely on ultra-low-pow­er (ULP) FPGAs for pro­cess­ing, and Blue­tooth Low Ener­gy (BLE) for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, which pro­vides an uni­ver­sal inter­face for most mobile devices. The sys­tem will wire­less­ly trans­mit record­ed BCG sig­nals to base sta­tions or gate­way devices for analy­sis. PLRI, a con­sor­tium part­ner, will con­duct inves­ti­ga­tions with the sen­sor sys­tem, con­tribut­ing exten­sive exper­tise to the project. The focus is on clas­si­fy­ing car­dio­vas­cu­lar para­me­ters and pre­dict­ing changes over time with AI. The user inter­face will be designed by User Inter­face Design GmbH (UID), who will help inter­pret heart para­me­ters from the mas­sive amount of data. Con­tin­u­ous mea­sure­ment is a key goal for both ter­res­tri­al and extrater­res­tri­al sce­nar­ios.

“R&D push­es our prod­ucts beyond state-of-the-art to be pre­pared for the next big mis­sions with chal­leng­ing require­ments.”

Ole Bischoff
Direc­tor R&D

Science & Exploration

Unveil­ing the won­ders of the cos­mos. Mis­sions study­ing the plan­ets of our solar sys­tem and enabling human explo­ration pro­vide the foun­da­tion for under­stand­ing the secrets of our uni­verse.

Further ongoing studies


ADHA‑2 is a ESA lead pro­gram to devel­op a mod­u­lar stan­dard for avion­ics units in the next gen­er­a­tion of Earth Obser­va­tion space­craft. By uti­liz­ing the cPCI-SS back­plane stan­dard, the part­ners in ADHA‑2 are devel­op­ing a series of inter­change­able avion­ics mod­ules to sup­port future space­craft needs. DSI is con­tribut­ing with our Mass Mem­o­ry tech­nol­o­gy, and in the devel­op­ment of the back­plane stan­dard. DSI can pro­vide high per­for­mance mem­o­ry solu­tions in a mod­u­lar back­plane com­pli­ant to the ADHA.


The “AI for Satel­lite 5G Com­mu­ni­ca­tions” (AIComS) project aims at devel­op­ing AI/ML-based SW/HW plat­forms for future prod­ucts of an inte­grat­ed satel­lite and 5G&beyond com­mu­ni­ca­tion net­work.

Lead by the Depart­ment of Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Engi­neer­ing (ANT) from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bre­men, the con­sor­tium con­sists of sev­er­al indus­tri­al and aca­d­e­m­ic part­ners from the space and com­mu­ni­ca­tion indus­try (Uni Bre­men, DLR, NXP, Tesat, S4, ZfT). DSI will devel­op a high-per­for­mance on-board com­put­ing plat­form for 5G NTN Base­band Pro­cess­ing, using the lat­est avail­able space-grade FPGA tech­nolo­gies and will also pro­vide an opti­mized high-through­put IP-core for on-board Machine Learn­ing appli­ca­tions.


The cur­rent space mar­ket and the irrup­tion of dis­rup­tive actors have dras­ti­cal­ly changed the pro­cure­ment pol­i­cy of com­po­nents for Space appli­ca­tions. In a nat­ur­al mar­ket step, many of the actu­al designs are being moved from top qual­i­ty lev­el space parts to low­er grade, espe­cial­ly from the auto­mo­tive and even com­mer­cial sec­tor, which are avail­able in short lead times and espe­cial­ly at reduced cost. How­ev­er, this change of par­a­digm and inno­v­a­tive approach comes with uncer­tain­ties in terms of under­stand­ing the reli­a­bil­i­ty of com­mer­cial parts and espe­cial­ly about the effec­tive­ness of dif­fer­ent high-lev­el test approach­es, to com­ple­ment / replace the stan­dard EEE parts lev­el test­ing.
Being aware of the new sit­u­a­tion, sig­nif­i­cant effort has been per­formed by ESA, Nation­al agen­cies and ECSS to estab­lish a frame­work for the new approach. How­ev­er, no agreed or har­mo­nized inno­v­a­tive approach­es of test­ing at board/equipment lev­el espe­cial­ly through accel­er­at­ed meth­ods have been defined yet, and it is not clear yet, how these cor­re­late to tra­di­tion­al com­po­nent lev­el test­ing.
The over­all aim of this study is to gain pro­found insight into the actu­al per­for­mance and reli­a­bil­i­ty of com­mer­cial parts with spe­cial empha­sis on auto­mo­tive com­po­nents. The study refers to the activ­i­ty of test­ing a typ­i­cal test object (mass mem­o­ry board) with spe­cial con­sid­er­a­tions in terms of reli­a­bil­i­ty, radi­a­tion per­for­mance and infant mor­tal­i­ty.


Com­plex orbital sen­sors depend on advanced cir­cuits. Man­ag­ing their heat in space is chal­leng­ing. The E‑MC3 project, involv­ing DSI Aero­space GmbH, Insti­tute of Space Sys­tems, and TU Braunschweig’s Insti­tute of Con­densed Mat­ter Physics, explores inno­v­a­tive ther­mal man­age­ment using mag­ne­tocaloric mate­ri­als (MKM). Con­sid­er­ing fac­tors like vac­u­um and solar radi­a­tion, E‑MC3 aligns with Ger­man fund­ing efforts in space com­po­nents. This inno­v­a­tive approach allows for com­pact designs, vital for earth obser­va­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Addi­tion­al­ly, this method could aid sci­en­tif­ic pay­loads in space and super­cooled com­po­nents for quan­tum com­put­ers. Mag­ne­tocaloric cool­ing in space elec­tron­ics is nov­el, giv­ing enti­ties like DSI a com­pet­i­tive edge. This can bol­ster Germany’s posi­tion in satel­lite pay­load design advance­ments.


The EXDIMUM project aims to improve extreme water man­age­ment using high-res­o­lu­tion satel­lite imagery, dig­i­tal ter­rain mod­els, and ter­res­tri­al sen­sor data. This project includes an inno­v­a­tive sen­sor sys­tem demon­stra­tion for ter­res­tri­al soil and veg­e­ta­tion data col­lec­tion. These sys­tems lever­age Ultra-Low-Pow­er (ULP) ICs and AI meth­ods for effi­cient data pre-pro­cess­ing, dri­ving the sen­sor plat­form com­po­nents. Com­po­nents are eval­u­at­ed for ener­gy con­sump­tion, robust­ness, and cost, ensur­ing longevi­ty, fail-safe­ty, and reli­able com­mu­ni­ca­tion.


The Fast­Track Project aims to rev­o­lu­tion­ize space-wor­thy dig­i­tal chip devel­op­ment in Europe by cre­at­ing a sys­tem-on-chip with high com­pu­ta­tion­al capa­bil­i­ties . The system’s goal is to sup­port both demand­ing on-board appli­ca­tions and safe­ty-crit­i­cal process­es, using the lat­est SOI semi­con­duc­tor tech­nolo­gies. This inno­v­a­tive approach aims to reduce aver­age devel­op­ment time from 5–6 years to 2–3 years, estab­lish­ing a sig­nif­i­cant lead over the Euro­pean aero­space elec­tron­ics indus­try.


The iMarEx ini­tia­tive inves­ti­gates both clas­sic AI and Machine Learn­ing appli­ca­tions in var­i­ous mar­itime explo­ration fields. It explores robust state esti­ma­tion, time-vari­ant envi­ron­ment and prop­a­ga­tion mod­els, adap­tive explo­ration strate­gies, and opti­mal path plan­ning. The chal­lenge lies in imple­ment­ing these meth­ods on embed­ded sys­tems, neces­si­tat­ing spe­cial­ized hard­ware solu­tions. A pow­er­ful, error-tol­er­ant RISC‑V proces­sor sys­tem with inte­grat­ed AI accel­er­a­tion will be devel­oped, tar­get­ing mar­itime explo­ration mis­sion require­ments. The approach­es will be inte­grat­ed into a robot­ic water­craft and eval­u­at­ed through real­is­tic tasks. The goal is to local­ize and approach a liq­uid out­flow source autonomous­ly, facil­i­tat­ing fur­ther inves­ti­ga­tions or sam­plings. The exe­cu­tion strat­e­gy will adapt based on sen­sor-iden­ti­fied thresh­old val­ues of for­eign sub­stances.


With increas­ing demands on the com­put­ing pow­er of future mis­sions, it is essen­tial that avail­able resources are used effi­cient­ly, which can be achieved through greater flex­i­bil­i­ty (e.g. recon­fig­u­ra­tion of FPGAs). How­ev­er, the chal­lenges of this study are to work out how a recon­fig­u­ra­tion of FPGAs can be per­formed reli­ably even under radi­a­tion and which mech­a­nisms have to be imple­ment­ed in hard­ware and soft­ware to achieve this goal. The study does not focus on a spe­cif­ic appli­ca­tion or a par­tic­u­lar sys­tem archi­tec­ture. Rather, the ques­tion is how the recon­fig­u­ra­tion of FPGAs from dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers and tech­nolo­gies (Flash, SRAM) can gen­er­al­ly be recon­fig­ured in space. How long does a recon­fig­u­ra­tion take and how often can it be per­formed are impor­tant ques­tions for use in future mis­sions.
The R3FPGA sys­tem con­sists of a recon­fig­urable tar­get FPGA that rep­re­sents the actu­al appli­ca­tion of the mis­sion and a recon­fig­u­ra­tion engine that is respon­si­ble for man­ag­ing the recep­tion stor­age and deploy­ment of the con­fig­u­ra­tion bit­streams, and con­trol­ling the prop­er state of the tar­get FPGA. Addi­tion­al­ly, a gener­ic inter­face based on stan­dard­ized TM/TC com­mands (PUS) is devel­oped and imple­ment­ed in the boot­loader. Spe­cial atten­tion is giv­en to the over­all reli­a­bil­i­ty and robust­ness against radi­a­tion induced SEEs as well as SEFIs dur­ing the crit­i­cal recon­fig­u­ra­tion process as well as inter­ac­tion with the scrub­bing process, essen­tial for SRAM-based FPGAs. For this rea­son, a test plat­form that con­sists of a recon­fig­u­ra­tion engine and a tar­get FPGA is exposed to radi­a­tion (heavy ion and pro­ton) to proof the robust­ness of the sys­tem.


The TRIPLE-nanoAUV 2 project, part of DLRs Explor­er Ini­tia­tive, builds upon the con­cepts and ideas devel­oped in the pre­vi­ous phas­es, TRIPLE-nanoAU­V1 and TRIPLE-MoDo. Its goal is to final­ize the design of a small autonomous under­wa­ter vehi­cle (nanoAUV) and the nec­es­sary periph­er­al equip­ment for its launch and recov­ery (LRS). Key areas of focus in this phase include the mechan­i­cal hard­ware, mech­a­nisms, ener­gy sup­ply, on-board com­put­er, and the hydroa­coustic com­mu­ni­ca­tion and autonomous dock­ing sys­tem. The sci­en­tif­ic pay­load, which will be devel­oped in the TRIPLE-LifeDe­tect project, will be inte­grat­ed into the design of the nanoAUV and LRS. Fol­low­ing the design phase, the hard­ware com­po­nents will be man­u­fac­tured, assem­bled, and inte­grat­ed.

After­wards, the nanoAUV and LRS sys­tems will be merged with soft­ware solu­tions devel­oped in the TRIPLE-GNC project for autonomous oper­a­tion. They will be test­ed exten­sive­ly, val­i­dat­ed, and then demon­strat­ed in field tests under the Antarc­tic ice.The final demon­stra­tion sce­nario for TRIPLE-nanoAUV 2 is planned for spring 2026, under the Antarc­tic shelf ice near the Neu­may­er III Sta­tion.


The VamEx project is a research ini­tia­tive by the DLR Space Man­age­ment, aim­ing to explore the pos­si­bil­i­ty of life on Mars using a het­ero­ge­neous, autonomous swarm of robots. This explo­ration focus­es on Valles Mariner­is, one of the largest rift val­ley sys­tems in our solar sys­tem, which holds poten­tial for life due to indi­ca­tors of water pres­ence, past vol­canic activ­i­ty, and UV radi­a­tion shield­ing.

Life on Mars could exist in nich­es sim­i­lar to those in Earth’s harsh regions, such as Antarctica’s dry val­leys, where organ­isms thrive on cer­tain min­er­als and minor amounts of water. The chal­lenge is to devel­op sys­tems that can autonomous­ly and error-tol­er­ant­ly accom­plish the map­ping task in such hos­tile envi­ron­ments. The mis­sion seeks to devel­op an under­stand­ing of the geo­log­i­cal, soil chem­i­cal, and atmos­pher­ic con­di­tions on Mars that may sup­port life.On the Mar­t­ian sur­face, atmos­pher­ic pres­sure is 6 mbar, at the triple point of water. How­ev­er, at the bot­tom of Valles Mariner­is, the pres­sure increas­es to 13 mbar, pos­si­bly enabling liq­uid water. Evi­dence of cooled basaltic lava and min­er­alog­i­cal changes due to water flow also hints at poten­tial habi­tats. The nav­i­ga­tion­al demands for this mis­sion are high, neces­si­tat­ing opti­mal sen­sors and algo­rithms to map Mars’s sur­face.

Our Partners

  • iTUBS
  • Glob­al­Foundries
  • TUBS
  • DFKI
  • Uni­ver­sität Bre­men
  • AWI
  • RWTH Aachen
  • GSI
  • Uni Hohen­heim
  • Tesat
  • DLR
  • NXP
  • Nokia
  • OHB
  • S4
  • ZfT
  • MHH
  • TU Clausthal
  • Ameno
  • Eurawass­er
  • Wak­ter tec­yard
  • Uni Kiel
  • Plan­et
  • Scal­go
  • Remondis
  • HTV
  • Berns
  • Alter
  • Hen­sol­dt
  • IDA
  • Uni der Bun­deswehr München
  • Tele­tel
  • Uni­bap
  • Uni­ver­sität zu Lübeck
  • Air­bus Defence and Space
  • Cre­on­ic
  • EANT
  • Fraun­hofer FOKUS
  • IHP
  • IMST
  • John Deere
  • R&S
  • SML
  • Tele­fon­i­ca Deutsch­land
  • TU Kaiser­slautern
  • ZF Friedrichshafen
  • Zen­trum für Telematik
  • Bayrisches Rotes Kreuz
  • BMW
  • Con­tin­te­nal AG
  • MAN SE

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