James Webb Space Telescope - FPGA Support

Keeping the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) on Track With Electrical Design Support

An inside glimpse Into solving the electronic design FPGA challenges with the JWST

JWST Board Causing Issues

The Problem: Late Stage Space Simulation Uncovered a Serious Firmware Issue

Late-stage space simulation tests with the JWST uncovered a crippling problem with the ‘Fine Guidance Sensor’ (FGS). Honeywell who was contracted by NASA to develop the electronic hardware needed an FPGA expert right away to solve the issue. Honeywell reached out to Design 1st, who previously helped another Satelitte project, to tap into our deep FPGA expertise to help.

The Solution:

After a fast-turnaround technical review, Design 1st VP of Electronics, Peter Cottreau, proposed changes to over 3000 lines of code. The next challenge was convincing NASA and the world’s preeminent space authorities that this update would fix the issues.

JWST Design, Build and Test Facility

Design 1st helped keep the launch of the JWST on track

“Once we made the decision to update the FPGA code, a long sequence of events had to be executed properly and without failures. Peter Cottreau was instrumental in finding and implementing the necessary fixes for the Fine Guidance System (FGS).

Brian MacKay

Chief Engineer, COM DEV (NASA Contractor)

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