Abaco Announces Significant Win from Major European Astrophysics Research Institute

Satellite dish

HUNTSVILLE, Ala.— September 2, 2020 Abaco Systems today announced that it has won orders from a major European astrophysics research institute that will see Abaco’s range of innovative hardware platforms deployed at the heart of a new radio telescope system.

Total lifetime value to Abaco of the win is expected to be $1.725 million.

“While Abaco is primarily associated with providing high performance solutions to the defense market, the number of markets that can leverage the broad range of our unique capabilities is much wider,” said John Muller, Chief Growth Officer at Abaco. “That includes commercial, industrial, transportation, energy exploration and many more industries that need rugged reliability allied with leading edge performance. That’s particularly the case where the requirement is for sophisticated signal processing and analog to digital conversion – as with this application.”

The institute is active in a range of research activities as well as the development of instrumentation for observations of the universe.  Specifically, it has developed several radio telescopes including the advanced electronic digital platforms which play a key role in the processing of significant amounts of data.

Observation of the universe has become an increasingly demanding application, driving the need to retrofit radio telescopes with receivers supporting higher bandwidth, a higher number of channels and more powerful backends. The customer turned to Abaco for the company’s unique ability to meet all the requirements of the backend processing system.

The innovative, high performance backend is equipped with Abaco’s boards and is designed to be modular, flexible and scalable.  The backend comprises two subsystems, each featuring a 3U VXP SBC329 single board computer, four VP430 Direct RF Processing Systems, two VP881 3U VPX FPGA cards and two FMC424 dual QSFP+ FPGA mezzanine cards, together with a PEX431 multi-fabric switch. It is capable of analyzing up to 64 radio signals simultaneously, with bandwidth up to 2 GHz.

The research institute has been appointed by CASPER - the Collaboration for Astronomy Signal Processing and Electronics Research - to design a software platform for astronomy applications targeting the backend system built with Abaco’s solution. The innovative and scalable back-end system is destined to find a substantial international market.

The SBC329 rugged single board computer features the high performance Intel® Xeon® E3-1505M or E3-1505L v6 (quad core) operating at 3.0 GHz base frequency, up to 4.0 GHz TurboBoost. With up to 16GBytes of soldered ECC memory, it includes the SmartFusion2 FPGA with advanced security features.

The VP430 is an RFSoC board featuring the all new Xilinx® ZU27DR RF system-on-chip (RFSoC) technology. It is also one of the densest analog FPGA DSP boards available, with eight ADC channels operating at 4GSPS and eight DAC synchronized channels operating at 6.4GSPS. It also features a user-programmable FPGA fabric and a multi-core Zynq ARM processing subsystem.

The VP881 is a high performance FPGA processing and FMC carrier board featuring Xilinx Ultrascale and Zynq® Ultrascale+™ technology. It is combined with the FMC424 dual QSFP+ card. The PEX431 multi-fabric switch and XMC carrier card allow designers to build complex VPX systems.

About Abaco Systems

With more than 30 years’ experience, Abaco Systems is a global leader in open architecture computing and electronic systems for aerospace, defense and industrial applications. We create innovative, modular solutions based on open standards that are characterized by outstanding price/performance, ultimate rugged reliability and minimal SWaP. Our goal is to be a significant contributor to our customers’ success, partnering with them to reduce cost, time-to-deployment and risk and supporting them over the long term.  With an active presence in hundreds of national asset platforms on land, sea and in the air, Abaco Systems is trusted where it matters most. www.abaco.com

For more information, contact:

Alisa Coffey

Head of Marketing

Abaco Systems


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