Onboard Computing (OBC) reference design to speed the development of space computing platforms including CubeSats

Onboard Computing (OBC) Reference Design


Cobham's new OBC Reference Design offers a path to significantly higher reliability and enables system architects to easily develop a computing platform that is ready for space flight.

With a footprint of 10cm x 10cm and components that are radiation-tolerant up to 100krad TID, our OBC board and Reference Design is ideal for the emerging SmallSat and CubeSat markets, as well as for deep space probe and autonomous spacecraft missions.

Our OBC Reference Design is complemented by extensive software support including: board support package, boot software, peripheral drivers and a path for software validation. The reference design can be leveraged on its own or easily interface to a broader system that includes an FPGA.

The OBC is supported by software environments such as RTEMS, Bare-C and VxWorks and flight system boot software is also available as a separate product.

The GR712RC Boot SW was specifically developed for the ESA JUICE satellite and will be used in several of its GR712RC based payloads on board following the requirements of ESA's Flight Computer Initialisation Sequence document. It supports initialization, self-tests, a SpaceWire remote terminal as standby mode and CRC checking application loader handing over a boot report. The software was developed according to ESA's software engineering standards ECSS-E-ST-40C and ECSS-Q-ST-80C, software criticality category B, reviewed successfully by ESA and third party (ISV&V).

The GRBOOT boot loader software is based on the GR712RC Boot SW using the same ECSS software engineering standards previously used to guarantee a high reliability for flight. By isolating mission and device specific parts into BSPs and generalizing the implementation, GRBOOT provides similar a reusable feature set for systems based on LEON3/4FT processor devices acting as either payload or OBC. GRBOOT is available for GR712RC and GR740 systems today but without full qualification proof.


  • Please CONTACT US for more information or if you would like access to our design files and documentation listed below.

OBC Board Example

OBC Design

Please CONTACT US for more information or if you would like access to our design files and documentation listed below.

Design Files and Documentation:

  • OBC Detailed Design Document
  • OBC Interface Control Document
  • OBC EEE Parts Lists
  • OBC Schematics and Board Layout Files (pdf and Altium)
  • OBC Integration of OBC Schematics User's Manual
  • Failure Mode and Effects Analysis
  • Radiation Analysis
  • Part Stress Analysis
  • Worst Case Circuit Analysis
  • Risk and Feasibility Analysis, Input to WCA