Session

Pre-Conference Workshop Session 1: Coordinating Successful Educational Programs

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

OpenSatKit (OSK) provides a free educational resource originally created for spacecraft flight software (FSW) developers to adopt and use NASA’s open-source core Flight System (cFS) that has expanded to include applications for space systems curriculum, STEM educators and hobbyist. In 2015 the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) open sourced the cFS and a spacecraft dynamic simulator called 42. In the same year Ball Aerospace open sourced their COSMOS user interface for command and control of embedded systems. OSK combines these three systems into aground-flight-simulator software system.

The cFS is an open architecture allowing users to port the core Flight Executive (cFE) to a platform (processor/operating system) of their choice, select/configure cFS community apps and develop custom platform software/apps to complete their system. The cFS has a long successful flight heritage ranging from CubeSats to large NASA GSFC observatories and a bright future that includes NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Systems program and the international lunar Gateway program. The cFS’ open architecture and collection of open-source community apps is part of what makes it so valuable, but they can complicate system integration increasing the learning and adoption curve.

For the past few years, OSK’s features, and functionality have expanded to include a cFS-based reference mission called SimSat that includes over 20 apps and a YouTube channel with more than 15 training videos. These resources capture institutional knowledge and lesson learned from years of FSW experience. While these advances have helped many organizations learn and adopt the cFS, it has created some complexity challenges of its own.

To address these challenges OSK is being reorganized to present material based on user tasks and goals. If a user wants to use the cFS for their CubeSat then the top-level tasks include acquiring/implementing a CFS platform port, identifying/integrating existing cFS apps for some of their mission’s functionality and developing new platform and app-level software for the remaining functionality. OSK provides task-based activity diagrams with examples, instructional videos, demo scripts, and exercises for each activity.

OSK has expanded beyond its initial primary cFS-based FSW use case and can be applied to STEM education in general. The cFS has been ported to the low-cost Raspberry Pi processor and connected to OSK’s COSMOS instantiation. A series of code-as-you-go (CAYG) exercises and videos are in production that teach users how to port the cFS to the Pi and add software for managing sensors and actuators.

This paper describes the new OSK organization and features that provide free FSW educational resources. OSK allows students to develop skills and apply them to meet their educational needs that will transfer into marketable skills as they enter the technical workplace.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

OpenSatKit - A Flight Software System Educational Platform

Utah State University, Logan, UT

OpenSatKit (OSK) provides a free educational resource originally created for spacecraft flight software (FSW) developers to adopt and use NASA’s open-source core Flight System (cFS) that has expanded to include applications for space systems curriculum, STEM educators and hobbyist. In 2015 the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) open sourced the cFS and a spacecraft dynamic simulator called 42. In the same year Ball Aerospace open sourced their COSMOS user interface for command and control of embedded systems. OSK combines these three systems into aground-flight-simulator software system.

The cFS is an open architecture allowing users to port the core Flight Executive (cFE) to a platform (processor/operating system) of their choice, select/configure cFS community apps and develop custom platform software/apps to complete their system. The cFS has a long successful flight heritage ranging from CubeSats to large NASA GSFC observatories and a bright future that includes NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Systems program and the international lunar Gateway program. The cFS’ open architecture and collection of open-source community apps is part of what makes it so valuable, but they can complicate system integration increasing the learning and adoption curve.

For the past few years, OSK’s features, and functionality have expanded to include a cFS-based reference mission called SimSat that includes over 20 apps and a YouTube channel with more than 15 training videos. These resources capture institutional knowledge and lesson learned from years of FSW experience. While these advances have helped many organizations learn and adopt the cFS, it has created some complexity challenges of its own.

To address these challenges OSK is being reorganized to present material based on user tasks and goals. If a user wants to use the cFS for their CubeSat then the top-level tasks include acquiring/implementing a CFS platform port, identifying/integrating existing cFS apps for some of their mission’s functionality and developing new platform and app-level software for the remaining functionality. OSK provides task-based activity diagrams with examples, instructional videos, demo scripts, and exercises for each activity.

OSK has expanded beyond its initial primary cFS-based FSW use case and can be applied to STEM education in general. The cFS has been ported to the low-cost Raspberry Pi processor and connected to OSK’s COSMOS instantiation. A series of code-as-you-go (CAYG) exercises and videos are in production that teach users how to port the cFS to the Pi and add software for managing sensors and actuators.

This paper describes the new OSK organization and features that provide free FSW educational resources. OSK allows students to develop skills and apply them to meet their educational needs that will transfer into marketable skills as they enter the technical workplace.