#23. Space Software

Last edited on 2023-07-21 Tagged under  #space 

Here are this week's 3 links worth exploring:

  1. A deeply informative discussion about writing software destined to run in space. Linux has a prominent role to play, but spacecraft typically rely on an array of Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS) to provide hard realtime guarantees for core mission controls. C is the most common language used. An important tool in the testing suite is the idea of a breadboard-like "flat-sat", which is all the systems of the spacecraft laid out on a bench in a lab: https://hackaday.io/event/191757-software-for-satellites-hack-chat

  2. Core Flight System (cFS) is a flight software framework developed by NASA for spacecraft (and Raspberry Pi!) that runs on Linux and a few RTOS. Its programmed in C with a core set of services for spacecraft such as process management, communications, logging, and provisions to write and host your own applications: https://github.com/nasa/cFS

  3. Originally developed for the US military, the Real-Time Executive for Multiprocessor Systems (RTEMS) is an open source RTOS with a long history of use in spaceflight (with "Multiprocessor" replacing "Military" and "Missiles"). ESA makes extensive use of RTEMS on embedded systems that use radiation-hardened processors, and RTEMS is currently both on the Martian surface and in orbit as part of NASA's Curiosity rover and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: https://www.rtems.org/

Quote of the Week: "Why go to the stars? Because we are the descendants of those primates who chose to look over the next hill. Because we won’t survive here indefinitely. Because the stars are there, beckoning with fresh horizons." — James and Gregory Benford


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