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The KP Labs' Lion is a data processing unit for advanced operations with the use of artificial intelligence and on-board data processing. The Lion DPU is dedicated to micro and small satellites weighing between 50 and 500kg.

Lion is developed to process multi-dimensional and multi-sensor data in orbit and is composed of high- performance COTS components that satisfy the processing power, high reliability and memory bandwidth demands for a wide range of missions. Combined with The Herd (KP Labs' library of AI-powered on-board data processing algorithms), this technology will connect the eyes (sensors) with the brain (DPU), thus enabling artificial intelligence to ensure autonomous decision making in situ.

It supports challenging activities allowing, for example, close-proximity operations through vision-based relative navigation between two spacecrafts for active debris removal or in-orbit servicing.

The Lion DPU hardware platform is composed of the Kintex Ultrascale FPGA with an accompanying external supervisor which provides single-event effects (SEE) and single-event functional interrupt (SEFI) protections, including configuration memory scrubbing and specialized watchdogs.

Thanks to the built-in bootloader, the external supervisor can update itself and reprogram the Kintex Ultrascale FPGA in-flight. Lion is also equipped with up to 8 GiB of DDR4, up to 16 GiB SLC NAND Flash and up to 1 TiB of SSD storage. The developed thermal storage system can extend the on-orbit operation of the DPU to at least five years.

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Last updated: 2022-06-02

Lion - DPU for advanced operations



processor type
Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA KU035
Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA KU060
Xilinx Kintex Ultrascale FPGA KU095
2 - 8 GiB DDR4 with ECC
data storage
4 - 16 GiB SLC flash-based file system storage (EDAC)
Up to 4x 256 GiB of SLC flash-based data storage (possible redundancy)
power consumption
up to 15 W (with KU035 FPGA)
data interface
SpaceWire Lite/RMAP (optional)
Gigabit Ethernet (optional)
radiation tolerance
> 20 krad


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