Skip to content


  • Research Article
  • Open Access

On-board Data Processing to Lower Bandwidth Requirements on an Infrared Astronomy Satellite: Case of Herschel-PACS Camera

  • 1Email author,
  • 2,
  • 3,
  • 3 and
  • 3
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:695165

  • Received: 31 May 2004
  • Published:


This paper presents a new data compression concept, "on-board processing," for infrared astronomy, where space observatories have limited processing resources. The proposed approach has been developed and tested for the PACS camera from the European Space Agency (ESA) mission, Herschel. Using lossy and lossless compression, the presented method offers high compression ratio with a minimal loss of potentially useful scientific data. It also provides higher signal-to-noise ratio than that for standard compression techniques. Furthermore, the proposed approach presents low algorithmic complexity such that it is implementable on the resource-limited hardware. The various modules of the data compression concept are discussed in detail.

Keywords and phrases

  • Herschel
  • PACS
  • on-board processing
  • infrared astronomy
  • compression

Authors’ Affiliations

Pattern Recognition and Image Processing Group, Vienna University of Technology, Favoritenstrasse 9/1832, Vienna, 1040, Austria
Institute for Computer Graphics and Vision, Technical University of Graz, Inffeldgasse 16/II, Graz, 8010, Austria
Institut für Astronomie, Universität Wien, Türkenschanzstrasse 17, Vienna, 1180, Austria


© Belbachir et al. 2005