Session

Swifty Session 7: Command & Data Handling

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

There has been a significant and exciting increase in the use of microsatellites and cubesats in the past decade.

However, it has proved difficult to scale up current cubesat avionics systems to enable larger, longer, more complex missions, and challenging to scale down traditional microsatellites to an affordable price point. The need exists for a system that provides the capability of a microsatellite at a cubesat cost; KISPE Space (“KISPE”) is developing the Next Generation Microsatellite Platform (“NGMP”) to address this need and is releasing the design as an open source resource via the Open Source Satellite Programme (“OSSAT”)

A key enabler of developing a robust Next Generation Microsatellite Platform is the identification of a suitable low-cost microprocessor that can be used to form the foundation of an affordable, robust, flexible, performant and autonomous satellite platform avionics system.

Space-qualified, long-lifetime, radiation-tolerant (or hardened) processors do exist, however, these technologies are very expensive and tend to deliver poor mission performance compared to the latest terrestrial Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components and are not compatible with the limited resources available from cubesats and smallsats.

We performed a test campaign to identify one or more commercially available microprocessors that leverage the latest innovations in microprocessor technology and which meet a set of system criteria that make them suitable for use as a microsatellite platform processor for a wide range of missions; from single modest spacecraft, through to proliferated architectures requiring autonomous operations.

We are sharing these test results freely with the space community to advance small satellite capabilities and to stimulate the development of the next wave of cost-effective missions, applications and services.

Three COTS processors (SAMV71, STM32H7 and SAMA5D3) were downselected for Total Ionising Dose (electron) radiation testing to characterize their performance in a representative space radiation environment, in partnership with the University of Surrey and with the input of OSSA T collaborators. All three processors were deemed to be candidates for further evaluation and derisking: The devices began to fail at 60kRads, 47kRads and in excess of 120kRads respectively.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

Results from Testing Low-Cost, High-Performance Terrestrial Processors for Use in Low-Cost High-Performance Space Missions

Utah State University, Logan, UT

There has been a significant and exciting increase in the use of microsatellites and cubesats in the past decade.

However, it has proved difficult to scale up current cubesat avionics systems to enable larger, longer, more complex missions, and challenging to scale down traditional microsatellites to an affordable price point. The need exists for a system that provides the capability of a microsatellite at a cubesat cost; KISPE Space (“KISPE”) is developing the Next Generation Microsatellite Platform (“NGMP”) to address this need and is releasing the design as an open source resource via the Open Source Satellite Programme (“OSSAT”)

A key enabler of developing a robust Next Generation Microsatellite Platform is the identification of a suitable low-cost microprocessor that can be used to form the foundation of an affordable, robust, flexible, performant and autonomous satellite platform avionics system.

Space-qualified, long-lifetime, radiation-tolerant (or hardened) processors do exist, however, these technologies are very expensive and tend to deliver poor mission performance compared to the latest terrestrial Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components and are not compatible with the limited resources available from cubesats and smallsats.

We performed a test campaign to identify one or more commercially available microprocessors that leverage the latest innovations in microprocessor technology and which meet a set of system criteria that make them suitable for use as a microsatellite platform processor for a wide range of missions; from single modest spacecraft, through to proliferated architectures requiring autonomous operations.

We are sharing these test results freely with the space community to advance small satellite capabilities and to stimulate the development of the next wave of cost-effective missions, applications and services.

Three COTS processors (SAMV71, STM32H7 and SAMA5D3) were downselected for Total Ionising Dose (electron) radiation testing to characterize their performance in a representative space radiation environment, in partnership with the University of Surrey and with the input of OSSA T collaborators. All three processors were deemed to be candidates for further evaluation and derisking: The devices began to fail at 60kRads, 47kRads and in excess of 120kRads respectively.