Frontgrade Gaisler Awarded ESA Contract to Qualify Spacecraft Avionics Microcontroller for Flight

Gothenburg, Sweden (27 June 2024) – The European Space Agency (ESA) has awarded Frontgrade Gaisler, a leading provider of radiation-hardened microprocessors for space applications, a contract under the ARTES Core Competitiveness programme to qualify the GR716B microcontroller for flight. This state-of-the-art microcontroller is specifically designed for spacecraft avionics, and its prototype is expected to be released later this year. 

The ESA contract will support the rigorous flight qualification process for the GR716B, ensuring that it meets the highest standards for reliability of critical space missions. Flight qualification will verify that the microcontroller can operate reliably while encountering the harsh conditions of space. 

“We are thrilled to receive this significant contract from ESA,” said Sandi Habinc, General Manager of Frontgrade Gaisler. “The GR716B microcontroller represents a major advancement in our technology, offering enhanced analogue functionalities for space missions. This contract not only validates our efforts but also accelerates the availability of this technology to the space industry.”

The many interfaces that GR716B offers allow it to support a wide variety of applications and serve as an integral part of any spacecraft subsystem, ranging from ensuring stable power delivery to controlling motors and magnetorquers. This versatility makes it ideal for advanced space missions requiring robust and reliable performance.

“We are very pleased to support the development of the GR716B through our ARTES Core Competitiveness programme,” said Domenico Mignolo, Acting Head of Technology and Products Division in ESA’s Connectivity and Secure Communications (CSC) Directorate. “The GR716B is an innovative product that will allow improved reliability and flexibility.”

The GR716B microcontroller offers enhanced capabilities over the company’s GR716A microcontroller, with the latest version offering higher performance and a broader range of interfaces while maintaining software compatibility. 

Frontgrade Gaisler is also evaluating a GR716B System-in-Package solution, composed of both the microcontroller and non-volatile memory, which would greatly simplify system integration and board design. 

About Frontgrade Gaisler
Frontgrade Gaisler is a leading provider of radiation-hardened microprocessors and IP cores for critical applications, particularly in the space industry. The company’s processors are known for their reliability, fault tolerance, and radiation tolerance, making them ideal for any space mission or other high-reliability application.

About ESA’s ARTES Core Competitiveness programme line
ESA’s ARTES Core Competitiveness programme aims to maintain and improve the capability and competitiveness of European and Canadian industry in the satellite communication market. The programme combines two elements, ARTES Advanced Technology and ARTES Competitiveness and Growth, to support technological development from concept to fully-fledged product, system or service.


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Liz Ryan Sax
Frontgrade Technologies
+1 (719) 487-4259