Software

Software specific to the payload and ground systems is currently in development and targeted for completion in the first quarter of 2020.  The Calypso mission flight software is being designed to utilize a modified version of NASA’s Core Flight System (cFS) for spacecraft management (Read more here). We can use cFS as a full lifecycle tool from initial spacecraft and mission design through deployment and operation in space. Because the off-the-shelf Pumpkin kit is designed to use Salvo RTS and cFS employs a lightweight version of FreeRTOS, we will have a sub-project to integrate cFS and Salvo. If that is not feasible, we will need to port cFS to the 1U hardware. Either option should be viable, but our preference would be to retain Salvo as the underlying operating system since it is already proven with the specific hardware.

During mission definition and spacecraft design, we are using the NASA Operational Simulator for Small Satellites (NOS3) as an essential development tool (NOS3 Website). NOS3 allows us to fully define the hardware and software in a desktop PC environment and run complete mission simulations. NOS3 is based on cFS, 42 simulator and Ball Aerospace COSMOS. It lets cubesat developers to simulate all aspects of a mission using the same software and simulated hardware as on the actual spacecraft.

As we move forward, NOS3 will let us insert flight hardware into the simulation environment. We will be able to incrementally test spacecraft systems as we build out the complete spacecraft. Before flight, we will put the complete spacecraft through end-to-end mission simulations using NOS3 to certify its readiness for flight.

We’re using other software tools to support development including NASA’s General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT), STK and commercial software for CAD, FEA and CFD.