CSE498, Collaborative Design, Spring 2021
Computer Science and Engineering
Michigan State University

Lockheed Martin, headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, is the largest defense contractor in the world and receives $60 billion in revenue annually. Lockheed Martin Space is a division of Lockheed Martin which specializes in building and deploying satellites and spacecraft for both commercial and military use.

The SmartSat software infrastructure, designed by Lockheed Martin Space, facilitates the development and deployment of software for spacecraft, which have historically leveraged all the power of the flight computers running the software that is responsible for operation of the spacecraft with little room to spare. Now that more powerful computers are available for the space domain, there is additional capacity that can be leveraged.

Our SmartSat™ Heterogenous Computing in Space system enables data to be processed on the satellite, reducing the need to send information over slow network connections. This reduces the bandwidth usage of the satellite by keeping raw data in orbit.

Because a satellite has significantly less computation power than computers on Earth, our system introduces clever hardware allocation schemes that can speed up image processing times on the satellite. One such optimization includes taking advantage of the wide variety of computers that exists onboard the satellite to run multiple applications at the same time.

Our system constantly analyzes the available hardware on the satellite, then assigns different SmartSat image processing applications to the hardware based on the best available option at any given time.

Our system reduces the time it takes to analyze data from satellites and ensures that the hardware onboard is used to its full capacity.

We use SYCL and Vitis to accelerate OpenCV computer vision applications on CPU, GPU and FPGA hardware.