Session

Technical Poster Session 6: Flight & Ground Software

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

Due to the autonomous nature of spacecraft, on-board devices feature relatively complex functionality in their software, including interface(s) that provide telecommands and telemetry. Once in space, the devices are physically inaccessible and even a small defect can cause a major failure from which recovery is impossible. To prevent defects with such consequences, the development of on-board software for space applications requires a substantial investment in quality and additional manual work results in increased cost. Therefore, it is necessary to consider opportunities that reduce manual work while minimizing the impact in quality.

This paper presents the particular solution adopted for the GNSSaS mission (developed by the NSSTC) and generalizes it to propose a framework for the development of on-board software for small satellites. It evaluates different software components involved in a mission and attempts to identify all opportunities to use data modelling and automated code generation to support the development, validation and operations of software for both space and ground segments. The proposed opportunities are described in detail and their impacts are discussed in terms of quality and cost. As in previous works, the code generation from interface data models were explored and additional opportunities were implemented as well. As it is shown in the GNSSaS satellite, it is possible to develop feature rich, complex and flexible software in-time, in-quality and in-budget with a relatively small team.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 7th, 12:00 AM

Data Modelling and Code Automation for Space Systems Software

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Due to the autonomous nature of spacecraft, on-board devices feature relatively complex functionality in their software, including interface(s) that provide telecommands and telemetry. Once in space, the devices are physically inaccessible and even a small defect can cause a major failure from which recovery is impossible. To prevent defects with such consequences, the development of on-board software for space applications requires a substantial investment in quality and additional manual work results in increased cost. Therefore, it is necessary to consider opportunities that reduce manual work while minimizing the impact in quality.

This paper presents the particular solution adopted for the GNSSaS mission (developed by the NSSTC) and generalizes it to propose a framework for the development of on-board software for small satellites. It evaluates different software components involved in a mission and attempts to identify all opportunities to use data modelling and automated code generation to support the development, validation and operations of software for both space and ground segments. The proposed opportunities are described in detail and their impacts are discussed in terms of quality and cost. As in previous works, the code generation from interface data models were explored and additional opportunities were implemented as well. As it is shown in the GNSSaS satellite, it is possible to develop feature rich, complex and flexible software in-time, in-quality and in-budget with a relatively small team.