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Reaching for the Stars in Southwestern PA

SHREC, the team behind STP-H7-CASPR, presented their work at the recent Keystone Space Collaborative conference

STP-H7-CASPR–the Configurable and Autonomous Sensor Processing Research system–has been the talk of the town – and throughout the cosmos. 

The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Space, High-Performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC), the team who designed and constructed and now operates CASPR, presented their project to various industry professionals and local leaders at the recent Keystone Space Collaborative conference. 

“CASPR has been operating marvelously in orbit for the last 18 months on the International Space Station,” graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and SHREC team member Evan Gretok said. “It was an awesome experience to connect with local leaders and see all the incredible work going on [at the conference]!” 

Each SHREC grad student present at the conference has their own research angle concerning space computing. 

  • Mike Cannizarro: performance and reliability of the latest and greatest space-computing systems based on free and open-source RISC-V architecture
  • Tyler Garrett: resilient deep learning for GPUs and TPUs in space, bringing the latest advancements from computer vision to ChatGPT to orbit 
  • Linus Silbernagel: reconfigurable FPGA accelerators for autonomous landing using terrain-relative navigation or debris tracking with local optical flow 
  • Rob Esswein: spacecraft security, evaluating network vulnerabilities and failures in constellations of satellites like SpaceX Starlink or OneWeb 
  • Evan Gretok: teaching satellites to understand what they are seeing on the ground and alert us accordingly 

SHREC is funded partly through the National Science Foundation’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC), a highly competitive program that “accelerates the impact of basic research through close relationships between industry innovators, world-class academic teams, and government leaders. IUCRCs are designed to help corporate partners and government agencies connect directly and efficiently with university researchers to achieve three primary objectives.” 

Alan George, founder and director of SHREC, Mickle Chair Professor and Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Pitt, is proud that his team is able to share their accomplishments.  

“Comprising more than 30 university, industry, and government partners across the United States, and led by Pitt, SHREC is a national center for advanced research and workforce development in space systems engineering, supporting dozens of top graduate students,” George said “We’re hosting top talent and proud that Pittsburgh is home.” 

The Keystone Space Collaborative, a nonprofit organization, helps grow the region’s space industry and attract the next generation of space industry professionals and talent. SHREC has been serving as a link between academia and industry alongside the organization. 

“We believe our expertise and experience in space research can greatly serve the Keystone Space Collaborative and hope we can grow our collaborations within the region,” Pitt graduate student and SHREC team member Tyler Garrett said.