Dublin based Réaltra and Austrian TTTech Aerospace are developing a new Time-Triggered Ethernet system in a project funded through the European Space Agency Future Launchers Preparatory Program (FLPP).

Dublin, 19 March, 2024 –

Irish owned Réaltra Space Systems Engineering and Austrian based TTTech Computertechnik AG have announced a collaboration to develop a Time-Triggered Ethernet system in a new project funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) under the Future Launchers Preparatory Program (FLPP).

By combining Réaltra’s expertise in aerospace solutions and TTTech’s know-how in real-time networking and safety, the project aims to develop a state-of-the-art TTEthernet® system, utilizing TTTech’s proven radiation tolerant TTE-Switch controller, for use on future launchers and space applications. This modular system will offer high-speed communication capabilities, precise synchronization, and fault tolerance for critical applications. The project aims to meet the requirements of the next generation of rocket launchers.

With the increasing demand for real-time communication in industries such as aerospace, automotive, and industrial automation, the need for efficient networking solutions has become crucial. TTEthernet technology enables cost savings thanks to modular, scalable system architectures. It reduces cabling as well as system complexity, integration, and testing efforts. Fault-tolerant, automated time synchronization, and fault containment are implemented in hardware, which increases safety and improves overall system availability.

“We are delighted to collaborate with TTTech to develop a platform product which masters regular Ethernet and Time-Triggered Ethernet that meets the needs of the next generation of launchers,” said Michael Martin, Engineering Manager of Réaltra. “This partnership brings together the strengths of both companies and will result in a highly reliable and efficient networking solution.”

Time-Triggered Ethernet is a scalable networking technology that uses time scheduling to deliver communication via Ethernet with up to 1 Gbit/s. Implementation of TTEthernet in a spacecraft allows it to transmit safety critical and regular traffic on a single physical network layer, which results in cost and complexity savings. Under this ESA funded FLPP project, Réaltra Space Systems Engineering and TTTech will collaborate to bring their hardware and software expertise together to develop an affordable, ruggedized, highly-reliable Ethernet switch for launchers which will be a highly attractive offering for both the newcomers and the established launch vehicle integrators.

Quote from Enterprise Ireland

Padraig Doolan, Irish National Delegate to ESA, of Enterprise Ireland, the State agency which supports Irish companies engaging in space technology developments with ESA, added: “Enterprise Ireland has a key role in the growth of an agile space-active enterprise sector in Ireland and provides a range of supports to space-active companies at various stages of development. We wish to congratulate Réaltra on this collaboration with TTTech on their recently funded ESA project.”

Quote from TTTech Aerospace

Werner Köstler, Member of the Executive Board – Aerospace at TTTech, comments: “We are excited to work with Réaltra on their compact TTEthernet platform which is suited for both launch vehicles and small satellites. TTTech Aerospace has pioneered the use of TTEthernet in space applications and welcomes this further widening of the European eco-system for TTEthernet-based avionics. So far, we have been working with partners of various sizes in France, Austria, Italy, Sweden, Spain, and Belgium.”

Quotes from Réaltra Space Systems Engineering

“We are delighted to partner with TTTech in this ESA FLPP funded project and look forward to progressing this technology for use in future launchers and spacecraft. As the global space economy continues to grow, we recognise the importance of developing and progressing new technologies to meet current and future demands.” said Danny Gleeson, CCO of Réaltra.

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About Réaltra Space Systems Engineering

Réaltra is the Irish word for “galaxy”, which is appropriate in the context of the company’s vision of creating innovative low-cost electronic systems for space applications. The Réaltra division of Realtime Technologies Ltd. was formed in January 2018 by Paddy White (CEO), Diarmuid Corry (CTO) and Danny Gleeson (CCO), each with long experience in the space sector, to focus specifically on the growing global space market for high-quality and high-reliability electronic systems, targeting the commercial “NewSpace” market, with a focus on the burgeoning global micro-launchers and small satellite sectors. Réaltra currently employs 15 people, including staff with significant space heritage to recent graduates of UCD’s Masters in Space Science & Technology and interns from Irish Universities. The company plans to employ up to 50 highly skilled people over the next few years.

Realtime Technologies Ltd. is an Irish-owned company, employing over 50 people, that was founded by Paddy White in 1996 as a supplier of printed circuit board assemblies to the global IT, aerospace, automotive and medical device sectors.

About TTTech Aerospace

TTTech Aerospace provides deterministic embedded network and platform solutions for aviation and space applications. Its products have already completed over 1 billion flight hours in Level A safety-critical applications like fly-by-wire, power systems, avionics, engine controls, and environmental control systems and covered distances of more than two million kilometers in deep space. Proven, mature solutions help customers in the aviation and space industries to develop integrated, modular, and scalable deterministic network platforms that increase safety, fault tolerance, and availability. In addition, integrated solutions reduce size, weight, power, and cost (SWaP-C), allowing for easier handling of equipment and lowering total lifecycle costs.

TTTech Aerospace is part of the TTTech Group, a globally oriented group of high-tech companies, founded and headquartered in Vienna, Austria. TTTech is the innovator of Deterministic Ethernet and a driving force behind the IEEE TSN and the SAE AS6802 Time-Triggered Ethernet standards.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. Its mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space continues to deliver benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA is an international organisation with 22 Member States. By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, it can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country.

ESA’s job is to draw up the European space programme and carry it through. ESA’s programmes are designed to find out more about Earth, its immediate space environment, our Solar System and the Universe, as well as to develop satellite-based technologies and services, and to promote European industries.

About Enterprise Ireland

Enterprise Ireland is the government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets. Enterprise Ireland work in partnership with Irish enterprises to help them start, grow, innovate, and win export sales in global markets. In this way, we support sustainable economic growth, regional development, and secure employment.

Enterprise Ireland co-ordinates Ireland’s industrial and research participation in the programmes of the European Space Agency, provides a source of expertise for Irish companies in developing and executing space strategies, as well as being a point of reference for the international space industry when they want to identify relevant sources of space-related expertise within Ireland.

Disclaimer: The view expressed in this publication can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.

(Image from left to right: Matthias Mäke-Kail (TTTech / Marketing CX Manager), Harald Schloffer(TTTech / Senior Systems Engineer), Reinhard Schrammel (TTTech / Director Space Systems Development), Michael Martin (Réaltra / Engineering Manager), Ana Maria Dimitrijoska (TTTech / Project Manager), Jonathan Rodgers (Réaltra / Senior System Engineer), Thomas Maier (TTTech / Senior Key Account Manager), Sudarsan Srinivasa Rangachari (TTTech / Electronics Developer), Ivan Masar (TTTech / Senior Product Manager Space)