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PLUTO (Processor Layout Utilization for Thermal Optimization is a project co-funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy. In a consortium, with the Laboratory for Product Development and Lightweight Design of the Technical University of Munich, EMM is developing a distributed computer system for thermal optimization of satellite payloads.


The goal is to develop a multiprocessor system (MPS), as a further development of classical on-board computers (OBC), with the following core characteristics:

  • Scalable performance and power consumption

  • Low failure rate due to redundant processing

  • Utilization of waste heat for thermal regulation of the payload platform.


Within this project an MPS is designed that consists of multiple identical processing systems, each FPGA-based System-on-Module (SoM). Depending on the application, the processor power can be distributed differently among the individual SoMs.


Heat output of three SoMs is represented by the colors green, yellow and red, from "little to much".

The processor load has a direct influence on the electrical power consumption of the SoM and its power supply. Depending on the processor load of the MPS, different waste heat power is generated in the individual SoMs. To provide the ability to flexibly distribute processing tasks among the individual SoMs, a suitable data communication structure must connect the individual SoMs, a higher-level intelligence, a type of operating system or supervisor, and a shared memory area (shared cache) that can be accessed by the individual SoMs. 

Shared memory and memory copy for redundant information.

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