Our subsection is developing the central hardware and software components, tasked to operate the satellite. Primary focus lies on the development of the On-board computer (OBC). To implement the software for our hardware we are using programming-languages ranging from C(++) all the way to Python. In addition, we’re also developing a mission control system as a web application in TypeScript.
Software-wise we are working with FreeRTOS, an open-source-real-time operating system, while a STM32 Microcontroller is our target architecture. To allow for a bedder integration of different software components in the future we try to apply space standards like ECSS and CCSDS, where possible. The special field of application for satellites does not only impose high requirements for reliability but also impose restrictions like very limited power-consumption and data-storage. To take these demands serious we are working in close cooperation with other subsections.
Mission Control Software
While the hardware and software of the ground station is designed by the subsection communication, providing the mission control software (MCTS) is the responsibility of our team. Once finished our MCTS will visualize the telemetry of the satellite and serves as the communication interface for the satellite operators. Even though a satellite acts mostly autonomously, it may be necessary to invoke actions from the ground or modifiy parameters. Aside from the technical requirements, we are also opt for portability and intuitive handling. Our MCTS is implemented as an Ammos plug-in.
How do we work
Just like the other subsections, we work with an iterative scheme (~6 months) during which we work to the accompish milestones. At the end of an iteration, the work is evaluated and new milestones for the next iteration are set. Actual development takes place in groups during our weekly meetings. Specific tasks are mostly interdisciplinary, necessary knowledge is developed collectively. How much time you want to invest is up to you, as we do not require a specific number of working hours.
Open Source Philosophy
All software developed by us, as well as hardware, is provided under open source licenses to support the CubeSat community and provide a template for other amateur satellite builders.
Well, why don’t you stop by one of our meetings? Our weekly meetings take place every Thursday from 14 to 16 o’clock in room S3|06 509 (Hans Busch Institute). If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact the subsection leader of the OnBoard computer team, Nicholas Wolf.