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A Software Framework for Nanosatellites based on CCSDS Mission Operations Services with Reference Implementation for ESA's OPS-SAT Mission
Abstract and Figures
Traditional European space missions exchange information with spacecraft using an old packet-based standard from 1994, in an era where mobile phones had the size of a brick and the internet was nearly born. Since then, many innovations appeared in the field of information and communications technologies that shaped the way one exchanges information on earth. For example, the rising market of smartphones and tablets brought new ideas into software by providing quick development of applications by taking advantage of software frameworks. In contrast, on-board computers still have simple monolithic software architectures with little reuse due to the low processing capabilities of current on-board computers. However, new and more advanced on-board computers are starting to be commercialized specifically for nanosatellites. Nanosatellites are small satellites that became increasingly more popular for the past 5 years because they are cheaper to launch without compromising a lot of functionality. The first nanosatellite mission from ESOC is OPS-SAT, a mission open to worldwide experimenters that can try new mission operation concepts and ideas. The Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS) recently defined a service-oriented architecture for mission operations of space assets, known as CCSDS Mission Operations services, which is intended to fly for the first time in OPS-SAT. The research defines the NanoSat MO Framework, a software framework for nanosatellites based on CCSDS Mission Operations services, including its reference implementation. Additionally, there is a Software Development Kit (SDK) in order to facilitate the development of software based on the NanoSat MO Framework. OPS-SAT experimenters can use this SDK for quick development of software capable of running on ground and/or in space. Although the reference implementation of the NanoSat MO Framework is generic to any nanosatellite mission, a dedicated mission implementation for OPS-SAT was developed. A dedicated Flatsat was built, which allows functional verification and validation of the software with the real hardware on a flat surface. In addition, its performance was analysed and improved where needed. A bright outlook is envisioned for the NanoSat MO Framework.
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