EarthCARE (Earth Clouds, Aerosols and Radiation Explorer) is a joint European-Japanese mission addressing the need for a better understanding of the interactions between cloud, radiative and aerosol processes that play a role in climate regulation.

The EarthCARE mission aims to improve the representation and understanding of the Earth's radiative balance in climate and numerical weather forecast models by acquiring vertical profiles of clouds and aerosols, as well as the radiances at the top of the atmosphere.

MMFU and payload electronics.

The MMFU (Mass Memory and Formatting Unit) comprises all functional and operational elements necessary to retrieve, encode, format and transmit stored mission and satellite housekeeping data to the X-Band System (XBS) via dedicated communication links for subsequent downlink to earth.

To cope with the above tasks the MMFU comprises the following major functional building blocks:

  • Payload user data interface controllers including line receivers and input switching matrix
  • Memory modules
  • Formatter & transfer frame generators including output switching matrix and line drivers
  • Mass memory supervisor including Software
  • Power Supplies

The main critical functions are:

  • Downlink at 150Mbps
  • Input and output cross-strapped
  • Innovative file management system

Swiss Quality

As per the Swiss tradition of excellence, Syderal delivered a high quality solution. We took special care to perform a well-configured requirement traceability keeping in mind that hardware and software needed to be tested separately and together. Further automated testing has also been implemented for specific items.

Engineering talent

Syderal's MMFU equipment incorporate some of the most sophisticated technology (to deal with several complex challenges) used in the field of integrated electronics and software. Special mention must be made about the highly complex boot software and large application software with over 22'000 lines of codes. The technical challenges mainly stand in the internal cross-trapping and the innovative file system


Development of mass memory technology of this complex nature required the wholehearted involvement of our project management, quality and engineering teams. Syderal employed all resources to overcome these challenges and deliver a cutting-edge Mass Memory and Formatting Unit.