Session

Swifty Session 6: Ground Systems & Operations

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

The QuickSAT/Autonomy is a framework of autonomy APIs and system with flight computer designed for cubesats to support Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) functions plus generic autonomy related functions such as vehicle health management. The system allows the cubesat through a range of sensors such as a hyperspectral camera to collect data, “perceive” key select information, and alert to the ground what is “sensed”, relaying only the required critical data. Operators can later download larger data sets as needed. This will allow the streamlining what is communicated to the ground in a timely manner. Communications is a critical bottleneck in small satellites such as cubesats – on board autonomy can rapidly assist in ISR functions. Distributed systems using formation flying satellites can use synergy of autonomous payloads on-board of different satellites instead of a multiplying effect of constellations in order to enhance coverage. The open framework allows the QuickSAT/Autonomy System with our LinkStar avionics system is to provide a flexible vehicle management system, a range of autonomy tools, global communications, and accurate and rapid tracking of 1U and larger cubesats and small satellites, providing exceptional situational awareness and ISR support. QuickSAT/Autonomy provides a database architecture to support the knowledge base built on the ground and during flight, a Bayesian Network learning framework, and supporting Apache Airflow based tools to name a few of the on-board Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (ML) functions within QuickSAT/Autonomy. The heart of the LinkStar avionics system is provided by either the BeagleBone Black AI module for Cubesats and power constrained vehicles OR the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC chipbased FRNCS computer for larger Cubesats and Small Satellites, a system that combines a quad core ARM-53 processor and Zynq-7000 FPGA. LinkStar supports I2C, I2C multiplexer, Space Wire, serial, USB and CAN allowing for a range of sensors to be connected to the QuickSAT/Autonomy architecture; other data buses can be easily infused into the design. LinkStar also includes smart power management software set of APIs, software rad-hardening tools, and QuickSAT/Xen hypervisor to enable multiple, secure operating systems on the processor. The board design is a PC104 format with full support for the Cubesat bus. The integrated flight computer hosts the QuickSAT/VMS system providing vehicle control, communications, and instrument management functions. QuickSAT/VMS provides a web based interface for easy vehicle configuration, system testing, and management. Supporting APIs are provided with the system. For this presentation we will present the framework and the overall architecture.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

QuickSAT/Autonomy: A Framework of Autonomy APIs and System for Small Satellites to Support Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance and Vehicle Health Management Functions

Utah State University, Logan, UT

The QuickSAT/Autonomy is a framework of autonomy APIs and system with flight computer designed for cubesats to support Tactical Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) functions plus generic autonomy related functions such as vehicle health management. The system allows the cubesat through a range of sensors such as a hyperspectral camera to collect data, “perceive” key select information, and alert to the ground what is “sensed”, relaying only the required critical data. Operators can later download larger data sets as needed. This will allow the streamlining what is communicated to the ground in a timely manner. Communications is a critical bottleneck in small satellites such as cubesats – on board autonomy can rapidly assist in ISR functions. Distributed systems using formation flying satellites can use synergy of autonomous payloads on-board of different satellites instead of a multiplying effect of constellations in order to enhance coverage. The open framework allows the QuickSAT/Autonomy System with our LinkStar avionics system is to provide a flexible vehicle management system, a range of autonomy tools, global communications, and accurate and rapid tracking of 1U and larger cubesats and small satellites, providing exceptional situational awareness and ISR support. QuickSAT/Autonomy provides a database architecture to support the knowledge base built on the ground and during flight, a Bayesian Network learning framework, and supporting Apache Airflow based tools to name a few of the on-board Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (ML) functions within QuickSAT/Autonomy. The heart of the LinkStar avionics system is provided by either the BeagleBone Black AI module for Cubesats and power constrained vehicles OR the Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ MPSoC chipbased FRNCS computer for larger Cubesats and Small Satellites, a system that combines a quad core ARM-53 processor and Zynq-7000 FPGA. LinkStar supports I2C, I2C multiplexer, Space Wire, serial, USB and CAN allowing for a range of sensors to be connected to the QuickSAT/Autonomy architecture; other data buses can be easily infused into the design. LinkStar also includes smart power management software set of APIs, software rad-hardening tools, and QuickSAT/Xen hypervisor to enable multiple, secure operating systems on the processor. The board design is a PC104 format with full support for the Cubesat bus. The integrated flight computer hosts the QuickSAT/VMS system providing vehicle control, communications, and instrument management functions. QuickSAT/VMS provides a web based interface for easy vehicle configuration, system testing, and management. Supporting APIs are provided with the system. For this presentation we will present the framework and the overall architecture.