Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Charles M. Swenson


Process algebra can provide spacecraft designers with a mathematical formalism for specifying, understanding, analyzing, and verifying spacecraft system behavior. Although it is standard practice to mathematically model and analyze the subsystems of a spacecraft to ensure that they will function correctly when built, the system-level behavior of the spacecraft is generally understood in much less rigorous terms. This leaves the spacecraft system vulnerable to design errors which may not become apparent until the integration and test phase, when design changes are most expensive. In this dissertation, we develop a formal approach to engineering spacecraft behavior, based on mathematical models of behavior expressed using the process algebra Communicating Sequential Processes. This new approach to spacecraft behavior is intended to help spacecraft systems engineers to model and analyze proposed spacecraft system designs in a rigorous manner, and to detect subtle specification and design errors earlier in the design process than the errors would otherwise be found.