Data Systems and Microelectronics Laboratory

The Data Systems and Microelectronics Laboratory is a joint undertaking across the Microelectronics Lab and the On-Board Computers and Data Handling Lab

The Data Systems and Microelectronics Laboratory encompasses the Data Handling System (DHS) and Microelectronics laboratories. The DHS laboratory focuses on the On-Board Platform / Payload Data Handling and Processing disciplines. While the Microelectronics laboratory covers all aspects of the microelectronic discipline necessary to support ESA projects. 

The DHS laboratory boasts multiple Data Handling facilities supporting related R&D engineering tasks. The laboratory aims at promoting open collaboration founded on sharing information, experiences and facilities as part of the larger Avionic system domain. The Laboratory collaborates with ESA’s Control, Data and Software Systems divisions, enabling the assessment of new avionics technologies for the benefit of both ESA and European industry. In particular, Data Handling System concepts can be demonstrated on the available Test Benches, with their access considered beneficial for small and medium sized enterprises. The DHS laboratory is a strategic resource providing independent assessments of various DHS topics in support of ESA programs and European industry.

The Microelectronic laboratory maintains several facilities covering semiconductor processes and design kits, ASIC and FPGA development tools that allow support of the end-to-end development of complex space microchips and their building blocks. This laboratory also strongly supports the ESA IP Cores Service. The laboratory mainly conducts engineering tasks but also assists in direct project support activities. Microelectronics is a transversal domain supporting numerous R&D activities originating from other technology disciplines.  

For general enquires regarding this TEC location please refer to the assigned contacts:

Microelectronics Laboratory

Point of contact

On-Board Payload Data Handling and Processing Facility

Point of contact
For testing requests, access to lab facilities, training and consultancy services, please refer to:


TPA Management system

ADHA Facility

The ADHA facility supports development, testing and validation of hardware / software elements related to on-board DHS. The ADHA facility represents an end-to-end reference system utilised primarily in support of R&D activities and direct ESA program support activities. 

 The ADHA facility objectives may be summarised as follows:

  • Define a state-of-the art standardised end-to-end Data Handling System architecture and its constituent modules, in collaboration with industrial partners, servicing future institutional and industrial needs.
  • Provide a system with well-defined software and hardware interfaces avoiding modification/incorporation of new modules detrimentally impacting existing infrastructure.
  • Support definition of standardised specifications applicable to new module developments for subsequent seamless integration, test and evaluation.
  • Adoption of a democratic and inclusive approach for sharing ADHA specifications encouraging harmonisation with institutional and industrial partners.
  • Utilise the ADHA facility for R&D and direct program support activities.
  • Assess feasibility of new on-board architectures, in terms of extended connectivity, functional redundancy, use of modern interfaces, use of rapid prototyping methods, etc.
  • Enable connection with remote elements for example with ESOC ground related test-beds.
  • Seamless integration with MBSE tools.

On-Board interfaces Facility

The on-board Interfaces Facility supports development, testing and validation of all elements related to Data Handling System on-board interfaces. Interfaces encompass low, medium and high speed variations as listed below.

  • MIL-STD-1553B
  • TTEthernet
  • Time-Sensitive Networking (TSN)
  • Wireless

On-board interfaces, facilitate communication between platform functions and between payloads and TT&C, cover transmission speeds from Mbits/s to GBits/s. The facility maintains all aspects of on-bard interfaces such as protocols, physical layers, harnesses, connectors and flight representative in-flight configurations with associated test instrumentation allowing comprehensive and turn-key test solutions.

AI/ML Facility

The AI/ML facility is currently under development and aims at facilitating AI/ML applications for Data Handling Systems.

ESA IP Cores

The ESA IP Cores Service and its catalogue of existing and under-development new ESA IP Cores is technically maintained with the infrastructure of the Microelectronics Lab. It provides with ASIC and FPGA building blocks to all ESA projects and R&D activities needing any of these IP Cores.

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Contact us via Email

Microelectronics Laboratory

Point of contact