The Advantages of Integrated Flight-Ground Software Development

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TRADITIONAL METHOD OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT IN AID OF THE SMALL B

Many ground and space portions of a satellite initiative are generally created by different teams, or even separate contractors, at different stages in the mission’s lifecycle. Traditionally, there has been a clear tendency to decouple the development of these two distinct systems.

The typical approach for separating the two sides early on is to utilize packet data. Developers must carefully describe the telecommand and telemetry packets that will exchange information between the flight and ground sides to operate a spacecraft efficiently.

This implies that the operation of the spacecraft and its dependence on the control centre must be detailed, after which it must be recorded at the packet level. The two development teams can then be working independently with only an agreed-upon description of how their systems will interact.

This type of data packet approach is often necessary when different companies are contracted to work on the ground and flight software or when the same company works on both, but they are developed by separate teams within the organisation. By breaking the system down into these two packets, it becomes possible to allow development to occur in parallel with little interaction between the teams, thereby expediting the process.

ADVANTAGES OF INTEGRATED FLIGHT-GROUND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT

The traditional method of developing ground and flight software separately has some definite advantages. One advantage is that it allows for independent development. 

The difficulties with the conventional method

However, there are some disadvantages to this:

  • It underestimates the software’s full potential.
  • It is time-consuming and prone to errors.
  • It is difficult to capture high-level interactions with it.
  • It might be difficult to alter your behaviour.
  • It adds layers of complexity to the procedure and makes it more difficult to automate.
  • When your space system expands, it does not scale well in terms of constellations.

APPROACH: GENERATION ONE ALTERNATIVE

Bright Ascension’s technology, which is designed to provide an alternative solution and address these key issues via a model-based and component-based approach to software engineering, is our industry’s best.

Modelling-based software engineering

Bright Ascension’s model-based architecture describes the system in terms that are both understandable by space and ground engineers, allowing for seamless interoperability across the system’s lifecycle.

The host of this platform is made up of software components that are completely self-contained and have a well-defined set of capabilities. They’re designed to be used in conjunction with the Flight Software Development Kit (FSDK) to develop mission-specific spacecraft flight software by combining custom parts with library pieces that have previously been examined.

What is the best approach to integrate models?

The model-based technique is considerably more efficient than the two alternative approaches. The advantage of this approach is that the entire flight software package, created using FSDK, may be quickly and simply understood by our ground system Mission Control Software (MCS).

It can take a while to go through all of the configurations and safety-related information with every new spacecraft launch. However, you may save time by utilizing the MCS database for each operation in FSDK. This lets for easy interaction at a high level, as well as extensive possibilities for automated operations, because it includes a comprehensive view of various services and components concepts.

A combined approach to flight and ground software development based on a shared functional architectural model delivers a slew of benefits in all phases of missions, from start to finish:

  • It makes it easier to communicate quickly.
  • It enhances operational efficiency.
  • It allows for a greater degree of automation depending on the situation.
  • It is compatible with scalability.

To discover more about our off-the-self spacecraft software solutions, go to the Bright Ascension’s website or download our FSDK datasheet. If you have any queries, contact us right away. What is the best approach to integrate models?

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