Secure and Reliable space communications

PEC (Prediction Error Coder) was developed within the frame of GOCA (Gaia Optimum Compression Algorithm), an ESA Technology Research Programme study made by the Institute for Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC) and the Spanish software company GTD. The goal of the study was to find the most efficient data compression algorithm for the Gaia space mission, which has very strict requirements, and PEC was the outcome.

PEC and its patented adaptive version FAPEC were created to offer outstanding performance under the strong requirements of data transmission in space communications. FAPEC offers a similar performance than the standard currently used in many space missions (the CCSDS 121.0 recommendation), both in compression ratios and computational cost, but it is more robust when there is noise and outliers in the data. Actually, in some cases FAPEC can even double the ratios provided by CCSDS 121.0 (sometimes called Adaptive Rice). FAPEC performs very well for large sample sizes, such as 32-bit and 64-bit integers, and includes a variety of efficient pre-processing options that can be tuned to our needs. A hardware prototype of FAPEC is also available in an FPGA, able to compress 16-bit samples at 32 Mbps consuming just 32 mW.