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Wednesday, February 3 • 15:35 - 15:55
Open Source Cube Satellite Software

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The Open CubeSat Platform (OCP) is AlbertaSat’s opensource cube satellite hardware and software design. OCP provides an onboard computer and IO board called Athena with schematics, layouts, and command and data handling software. The software provides four key routines: fully automated error detection and handling, deployment and early orbit phase, data processing and logging, and dynamic control of peripheral hardware via scripting. OCP will have its first flight on AlbertaSat’s ExAlta 1 mission.

Error detection and handling routines run with master control of the power to peripheral boards. It will detect errors and, if necessary, power down and decommission grossly malfunctioning peripherals until commanded otherwise via the ground station. The deployment and early orbit routine runs one time immediately after the cubesat is deployed in space, including bring up of communications system, first time diagnostics, and deploying payloads. The data processing and logging routine commits important data to permanent storage, in real time. It’s designed to be conducive to asynchronous data updates, such as file transfer protocol (FTP) services deleting data. Finally, scripting gives researchers precise control over when, where, and how their payloads operate. In addition, systems engineers can use this feature to script locations for downlinking data to receiveonly ground stations. Data downlinked to receiveonly ground stations is retained until any dropped packets have been requested from a normal transmit/receive ground station and an explicit command to delete the data is received.

Open source satellite designs (software and hardware) will allow multiple universities to rapidly develop and adapt it to their specific mission requirements. OCP is licensed under the GNU general public licence (GPL), version 2. Under these terms, anyone building on this code (for instance, to support additional scientific instruments) would in turn release their source code and designs, further enriching the cubesat community. When questions about satellite operation arise, or unexpected behaviour is encountered, the source code (or schematics in the case of hardware) provides the ultimate documentation.

avatar for Lawrence Reeves

Lawrence Reeves

President, CSDCMS
I'm the President of the not-for-profit society which offers and manages the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge. I'm also the Owner/President of Geocentrix Technologies Ltd., and offer technical consulting to the space industry on various mission-related topics. My background is... Read More →

avatar for Brendan Bruner

Brendan Bruner

University of Alberta
I work with AlbertaSat at the University of Alberta to develop software for cube satellites. We have been working on the Open Cubesat Platform (OCP) which contains open sourced software and hardware solutions for space access via cubesats. The platform currently includes hardware... Read More →

Wednesday February 3, 2016 15:35 - 15:55 EST
Provence Room

Attendees (3)