"For the satellite digital communication systems designed in a tough competitive context, the European Space Industry requires advanced components in terms of performance, flexibility and power consumption. Indeed, future telecommunications payloads will contain digital processors to make best use of scarce spectrum and to offer best operational flexibility to operators and end-customers. This puts ever more drastic requirements for Data Converters and in particular onto Analogue to Digital Converters (ADC). As they are strategic components for satellite communications, the COMETS project research effort on European sourced radiation hardened ADC's is mandatory 1) to respond to the demand for such high conversion capacity, currently not available on the market and 2) to ensure long-term European independence. The consortium’s efforts will be driven by e2v. Starting from system level requirements is fundamental to develop the right ADC expected by the industry and to open wide market perspectives to it. The project ""STEP1"" will lead to the 10bit 1.5GSps rad-hardened and low power ADC updating the State of Art, to serve mid-term critical needs of the Space industry. The ESCC evaluation will conclude the STEP1. As longer term needs see increasing performances, a 12bit ADC beyond State-of-the-Art is then focused in the frame of the ""STEP2"" taking advantage of the advanced technology developed by Infineon. The total project is planned on 3 years. Specifications derived from advanced system level needs, proven design and radiation hardening expertise, high performance technology and related device modelling are major assets for the COMETS project and form the panel of factors for the winning solution. Moreover, the European space industry will keep control on the design and production chain of the ADC’s for Space telecommunications. This will ensure the Europe’s supplying independence for those strategic components."
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