SpaceTech - Activities


Romanian InSpace Engineering SRL

Synoptes – a GNSS based timestamping device for astronomy applications, is an ESA contract for an activity oriented on the development of hardware. The development was led by RISE in collaboration with the Romanian Academy Astronomical Institute and the Romanian Academy Astronomical Observatory in Cluj-Napoca. It included the design and development of both hardware and software in order to obtain a cost-efficient standalone module which provides timestamps with an accuracy better than 1 microsecond for image-capture frequencies up to 15Hz.

Synoptes is a miniaturized device interfacing with computers using a USB connection and providing precise time stamping of electrical signal with an absolute accuracy on the order of tens of nanoseconds. The performance of the device was confirmed during tests against the atomic clock of the National Metrology Institute in Bucharest. Although Synoptes can be used for a wide range of applications, the reference implementation developed during the project is the timestamping of astronomical images taken by telescopes and editing the FITS image header to include the precise time of each observation.