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Digital Connectivity for Modern Space Electronics

By streamlining high performance onboard computing and expediting valuable data assets for transmissions within a spacecraft or inter-constellation as well as back to Earth, the Digital Backbone is revolutionizing space electronics. It has paved the way for unprecedented, new space innovations including the launch of the commercial space market, the development of a lunar gateway for long-term deep space exploration, and redundant small satellite constellation networks.


Modeling an “information highway” approach, the Digital Backbone concept provides a unified, connected communication infrastructure for the increasing number of digital technologies being implemented throughout space technologies.


This architecture, which heavily utilizes COTS systems for scale and cost-efficiencies, is shaping how future space missions will operate from NEO/LEO/GEO and Lunar applications up to deep space and beyond.

Solving Challenges with Next-gen Space Electronics

Aitech’s Space Digital Backbone enables space electronics that span the universe by removing the connectivity and computing limitations as well as the associated performance bottlenecks that have forced space-grade, radiation-tolerant electronics to lag several generations behind similar systems on Earth in terms of technology advancement, adoption of modernized scalable architectures and open standards.

A critical differentiator in space system architectures is how the Digital Backbone increases data communications across in-orbit systems as well as those that are earth-bound. Advanced multi-processor architecture enables artificial intelligence and machine learning implementations while high-performance edge computing ensures reliable, integrated operation as well as improved connectivity.

Why COTS Makes Sense for The Space Market

The use of a common COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) infrastructure delivers timely and cost-effective solutions that are modular and scalable to fulfill multi-mission objectives with high technology readiness level (TRL) hardware. Proven COTS also ensure the systems are fit to launch in most launch vehicles for rapid deployment of space assets.

As space electronics continue to evolve from components and boards to a “system of systems’ approach for both single-string and redundant architectures, SWaP-C optimization becomes more critical. Highly integrated electronics via a DBB enables unprecedented levels of connectivity within space platforms, among in-orbit systems as well as in space-to-ground communications.

Common, Networked Infrastructure Using the Digital Backbone

Our Space DBB architecture includes three main elements:

  • Networking
  • Edge Computing
  • Storage
  • Security

The two primary implementations of the DBB – one for LEO/NEO satellites and ISS, and another for GEO satellites/missions and Lunar exploration – use these three elements to enable easy up/down scalability, based on spacecraft size and mission requirements. Each of the implementations provides specifically designed and radiation-tested products for its target space environment.


Because it is constructed around a central networking backbone based on open Ethernet standards, the Space DBB streamlines and expedites data transmissions within a spacecraft or satellite constellation as well as back to Earth, eliminating significant technical challenges such as extremely slow, cumbersome communications.

This unified, digital infrastructure enables seamless integration and high-speed reliable, secure connectivity between internal/external communications systems, GPS/PNT distribution, cameras, local edge computing, and shared storage elements. It is catapulting space communications forward.

All Missions and Orbits

At the heart of Space DBB is Aitech’s network switches as well as the first-in-space™ HPEC computer (S-A1760), based on the NVIDIA® GPGPU architecture, enabling multiple edge computing and artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) applications deployed directly in space.  These onboard computing capabilities means significant data streams no longer need to be sent back to Earth.


For GEO and lunar orbiting or terrestrial environments, our 5th generation radiation characterized SP0-S SBC provides dual Gigabit Ethernet ports. 


This broad, inclusive rugged product offering, coupled with Aitech space pedigree, human spaceflight system expertise and over a million hours of space operations without a failure, makes the company a one-stop-shop for space electronic systems providing both a complete DBB architecture based on a comprehensive COTS/MOTS products as well as Modification, Integration, Assembly & Testing (MIAT) services to our customers, greatly lowering risk, costs and time to market.

Improved Space Communication

This unified, digital infrastructure enables seamless integration and high-speed reliable, secure connectivity between internal/external digital/optical communications systems, GPS/PNT distribution, TSN-based sensor data distribution such as optical imagers, EtherCAT-based robotics, local edge/AI computing, and shared NAS elements.


Constructed around a central networking backbone based on open Ethernet standards, Aitech’s Space DBB-based systems support both real-time data (such as mission-critical sensor information and control – via TSN or EtherCAT protocols) and non-real-time data (such as compressed/raw video streaming – via standard IP routing over Ethernet) transmission.

Space Digital Backbone LOFTID Image

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