An eCos based flight software for a nanosatellite

Mthembu, Sifiso Selby (2009-03)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.


The nanosatellite is build-up of subsystems and payloads (defined as satellite nodes) connected together into the OBC using CAN bus as the main communication protocol. The flight software application is required to run within the eCos environment on the OBC to monitor and control satellite nodes. The ground station must generate commands and send them to the satellite in space. The application is developed to validate, schedule and dispatch the commands to the satellite nodes at appropriate times. Each node manager, in the flight software, is required to execute the response messages from its respective satellite node. The housekeeping and error recovery data files are defined to convey useful information about satellite status to the user and can be downloaded to the ground station. The flight software is developed using POSIX functions supported by eCos. Although it is not yet ready for real operation in space, the algorithm that can be used for full development is examined and approved.

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