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Publication# Uncooperative Rendezvous in Space: Design of an Electronic Architecture for High Performance Avionic with Multi Sensor Input and Intensive Data Rate.

Abstract

Active Debris Removal missions consist of sending a satellite in space and removing one or more debris from their current orbit. A key challenge is to obtain information about the uncooperative target. By gathering the velocity, position, and rotation of the desired object, the satellite is able to plan its trajectory and define the sequence of approach. It requires the use of a variety of sensors with often a high data rate. For this task, a dedicated payload computer is envisioned with the responsibility of processing the information from the various rendezvous sensors. This component has the goal to provide meaningful information to the main satellite computer about the targeted debris. The focus of this work is on the data processing, the number of elements, and the electrical energy with constraints due to internal communication.First, an avionic testbench was built at the EPFL Space Center to assess early hardware and software architectures. The goal is to enable Hardware-In-the-Loop testing while developing the payload computer. A communication data bus has been implemented between the Platform and the Payload On-Board Computer. Emphasis was placed on the reliability of the high-level protocol and multiple concepts for improvement were analyzed.In a second phase, the testbench has been extended to support other data buses. The aim was to develop a reliable and efficient backup or fall-back data bus in case of failure in the main link. Four data buses have been tested with extensive analyses on their resilience to error and the efficiency of their data exchange.In parallel, extensive work has been performed to develop a simulation and optimization tool. Its goal is to support the design of payload avionic architectures for ADR missions by providing trade-offs and analyses. In the first iteration, a simulator has been created with instances of various high-level elements modeled.The second iteration introduced the additional dimension of optimization. It is trying to determine the best set of instruments and algorithms to use. With this capability, numerous analyses have been conducted on the influence of various parameters linked to the general optimizer behavior. It allows us to better understand the strength and limitations of the tool.The third step regarding the tool was to start its verification. The task has been to develop an Hardware-In-the-Loop architecture to compare its behavior with the results of the optimizer. The implementation of various mock-up algorithms enables the verification of their models in the tool. These analyses guarantee the feasibility of the outputted solution.The last part was dedicated to the creation and analysis of a realistic payload avionic architecture. The goal was to test the capability of the tool with hardware elements inspired by actual components. This work has shown the procedure to efficiently use the tool in the design phase of a mission.In conclusion, the work on the communication between the Payload and the Platform On-Board Computer has brought valuable lessons and experiences to the projects. They can now be used for the establishment of the high-level protocol into ClearSpace-1 flight software. In addition, the optimizer created allows tackling the design of complex payload avionic architecture where mass saving and processing resources are crucial. It is an essential point to develop a highly efficient payload computer for an Active Debris Removal satellite.

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We show however that the improvement in the correlation estimation comes at the price of penalizing the image reconstruction quality; therefore there exists an interesting trade-off between the accurate correlation estimation and image reconstruction as encoding optimization objectives are different in both cases. Next, we further simplify the encoding complexity by replacing the classical imaging sensors with the simple CS sensors, that directly acquire the compressed images in the form of quantized linear measurements. We now concentrate on the particular problem, where one image is selected as the reference and it is used as a side information for the correlation estimation. We propose a geometry-based model to describe the correlation between the visual information in a pair of images. The joint decoder first captures the most prominent visual features in the reconstructed reference image using geometric functions. Since the images are correlated, these features are likely to be present in the other images too, possibly with geometric transformations. Hence, we propose to estimate the correlation model with a regularized optimization problem that locates these features in the compressed images. The regularization terms enforce smoothness of the transformation field, and consistency between the estimated images and the quantized measurements. Experimental results show that the proposed scheme is able to efficiently estimate the correlation between images for several multi-view and video datasets. The proposed scheme is finally shown to outperform DSC schemes based on unsupervised disparity (or motion) learning, as well as independent coding solutions based on JPEG 2000. 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In this thesis we build efficient distributed scene representation algorithms for the multiple correlated images captured in planar, omnidirectional and CS cameras. The coding rate in our symmetric distributed coding solution stays balanced between the encoders and stays close to the joint encoding solutions. Our novel algorithms lead to effective correlation estimation in different sensing and coding scenarios. In addition, we provide innovative solutions for robust correlation estimation from highly compressed images in simple sensing frameworks. Our CS-based joint reconstruction frameworks effectively exploit the inter-view correlation, that permits to achieve high compression gains compared to state-of-the-art independent and distributed coding solutions.

Recent advances in data processing and communication systems have led to a continuous increase in the amount of data communicated over today’s networks. These large volumes of data pose new challenges on the current networking infrastructure that only offers a best effort mechanism for data delivery. The emergence of new distributed network architectures, such as peer-to-peer networks and wireless mesh networks, and the need for efficient data delivery mechanisms have motivated researchers to reconsider the way that information is communicated and processed in the networks. This has given rise to a new research field called network coding. The network coding paradigm departs from the traditional routing principle where information is simply relayed by the network nodes towards the destination, and introduces some intelligence in the network through coding at the intermediate nodes. This in-network data processing has been proved to substantially improve the performance of data delivery systems in terms of throughput and error resilience in networks with high path diversity. Motivated by the promising results in the network coding research, we focus in this thesis on the design of network coding algorithms for simultaneous transmission of multiple data sources in overlay networks. We investigate several problems that arise in the context of inter-session network coding, namely (i) decoding delay minimization in inter-session network coding, (ii) distributed rate allocation for inter-session network coding and (iii) correlation-aware decoding of incomplete network coded data. We start by proposing a novel framework for data delivery from multiple sources to multiple clients in an overlay wireline network, where intermediate nodes employ randomized inter-session network coding. We consider networks with high resource diversity, which creates network coding opportunities with possibly large gains in terms of throughput, delay and error robustness. However, the coding operations in the intermediate nodes must be carefully designed in order to enable efficient data delivery. We look at the problem from the decoding delay perspective and design solutions that lead to a small decoding delay at clients through proper coding and rate allocation. We cast the optimization problem as a rate allocation problem, which seeks for the coding operations that minimize the average decoding delay in the client population. We demonstrate the validity of our algorithm through simulations in representative network topologies. The results show that an effective combination of intra- and inter-session network coding based on randomized linear coding permits to reach small decoding delays and to better exploit the available network resources even in challenging network settings. Next, we design a distributed rate allocation algorithm where the users decide locally how many intra- and inter-session network coded packets should be requested from the parent nodes in order to get minimal decoding delay. The capability to take coding decisions locally with only a partial knowledge of the network statistics is of crucial importance for applications where users are organized in dynamic overlay networks. We propose a receiver-driven communication protocol that operates in two rounds. First, the users request and obtain information regarding the network conditions and packet availability in their local neighborhood. Then, every user independently optimizes the rate allocation among different possible intra- and inter-session packet combinations to be requested from its parents. We also introduce the novel concept of equivalent flows, which permits to efficiently estimate the expected number of packets that are necessary for decoding and hence to simplify the rate allocation process. Experimental results indicate that our algorithm is capable of eliminating the bottlenecks and reducing the decoding delay of users with limited resources. We further investigate the application of the proposed distributed rate allocation algorithm to the transmission of video sequences and validate the performance of our system using the NS-3 simulator. The simulation results show that the proposed rate allocation algorithm is successful in improving the quality of the delivered video compared to intra-session network coding based solutions. Finally, we investigate the problem of decoding the source information from an incomplete set of network coded data with the help of source priors in a finite algebraic field. The inability to form a complete decoding system can be often caused by transmission losses or timing constraints imposed by the application. In this case, exact reconstruction of the source data by conventional algorithms such as Gaussian elimination is not feasible; however, partial recovery of the source data may still be possible, which can be useful in applications where approximate reconstruction is informative. We use the statistical characteristics of the source data in order to perform approximate decoding. We first analyze the performance of a hypothetical maximum a posteriori decoder, which recovers the source data from an incomplete set of network coded data given the joint statistics of the sources. We derive an upper bound on the probability of erroneous source sequence decoding as a function of the system parameters. 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In the domain of electronic devices and especially desktop peripherals, there is an industrial trend which consists in removing the cables that pollute our domestic and professional environments. In this sense, wireless communication protocols are already massively widespread while the power supplies still use wires or batteries. To address this problem, alternative solutions must be investigated such as contactless energy transfer (CET). In a broad sense, CET is a process that allows to bring electrical energy from one point to another through a given medium (generally air or vacuum) and at a certain distance. Inductive CET means that the intermediate form of energy is the magnetic induction, generated from primary coils excited by high-frequency alternating currents and collected in secondary coils by induced voltages. Most of existing approaches to design CET systems are applicable to only single applications and do not include an optimization method. For this reason, the present thesis focuses on the modeling, design and optimization of inductive CET systems. Using the coreless transformer as the central part of CET systems, an equivalent electric model is derived from the theory of conventional transformers. The absence of ferrite core gives rise to a specific characteristic, which is to have large leakage inductances compared to the main one. In order to circumvent this issue, using a high frequency together with a resonant circuit allow to enhance the effect of the mutual inductance and to transfer power with an excellent efficiency. Different parts of the coreless transformer are addressed separately. First, an accurate modeling of DC resistances, self and mutual inductances is proposed. Then, the equivalent electric circuit is resolved and the different compensation topologies for the resonant circuit are discussed. Finally, the AC resistance is computed using a 2D finite element modeling that takes into account the skin and proximity effects in the conductors. So as to exploit optimally FEM simulations, a complete output mapping together with a specific interpolation strategy are implemented, giving access to the AC resistance evaluation in a very short time. As a result, all the models are implemented in a way that makes them highly adaptable and low-consuming in term of computing resources. Then a sensitivity analyzis is performed in order to restrict the variation range of different parameters and to provide a general and intuitive understanding of inductive CET. After that, an optimization method using genetic algorithms (GAs) is presented. The main advantage of GAs is that the number of free parameters does not change the complexity of the algorithm. They are very efficient when a lot of free parameters are involved and for optimizations where the computing time is a key factor. As existing GAs failed to converge properly for different tested CET problems, a new one is developed, that allows to optimize two objective functions in the same time. It is thus a multiobjective genetic algorithm (MOGA) and has been successfully applied to the design of different CET systems. Finally, in order to validate the models and optimization methods proposed along the thesis, several prototypes are built, measured and tested. Notably, a CET table that allows to supply simultaneously different peripherals is fabricated. By analyzing in real time the current amplitude in the primary coils, an efficient sensorless detection of the peripherals is implemented. Digital control techniques have enabled the autonomous management of the detection and the local activation of the table. These results contribute to the future development of robust and efficient CET tables.