Cost Optimized Test of Spacecraft Avionics and Technologies(COTSAT) Modular Spacecraft Software Architecture

robotics automation and control
Cost Optimized Test of Spacecraft Avionics and Technologies(COTSAT) Modular Spacecraft Software Architecture (TOP2-267)
Rapidly produced low cost spacecraft
Overview
The Cost Optimized Test of Spacecraft Avionics and Technologies (COTSAT) was specifically developed to reduce the cost of designing and building spacecraft technologies while enabling rapid prototyping. The prototype spacecraft, also known as CheapSat, is the first of what could potentially be a series of rapidly produced low-cost spacecraft for science experiments and technology demonstration. The spacecraft platform is designed to accommodate low-cost access to space for variable remote-sensing payloads, while maintaining an architecture allowing future expansion for potential Space Life Sciences payloads.

The Technology
The goal of COTSAT as a technology demonstration unit is to demonstrate the ability for drastic cost reduction in spacecraft design and to develop methods and technologies for maximizing reuse of developed spacecraft hardware, software and related technology on future missions. This approach will enable for rapid response capabilities given advances in rapid prototyping. COTSAT consists of the following sub-systems: - An artificial environment container, which comprises much of the satellite structure, is used to contain the single atmosphere environment. The artificial atmosphere container is used to replicate an Earth-like atmosphere, allowing the use of Commercial-Off-The Shelf (COTS) hardware and electronics which were not necessarily originally designed to operate in the vacuum environment of space. - A key design element in the bus structure of COTSAT is the modular platform upon which the bus is assembled. This structure allows for a logic-flow integration of components leading to ideal placement of electronics. - The Electrical Power System (EPS) architecture utilizes a distributed power and self-monitor approach. - The Command and Data Handling (C&DH) subsystem provides a number of critical capabilities, including spacecraft health and status monitoring, communication, payload science data management and subsystem management. - The COTSAT communications architecture incorporates four independent communications paths. - The software architecture consists of modular, independent software daemons for each subsystem or capability such as the star tracker, the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), the reaction wheels, the main executive, the communications system, the control system and the payload. - The COTSAT has a three-axis Attitude Determination And Control System (ADACS), using four reaction wheels and three magnetic torque coils. - To aid in technology development and testing, the COTSAT hardware and technology performance has been verified by a number of prototype test-beds. There have been three major test platforms during the development cycle.
Benefits
  • Rapid prototype, can replicate quickly
  • Low-cost
  • Single atmosphere artificial environment replicates Earth-like atmosphere
  • Robust to new payloads and new technologies
  • Radiation tolerant, safe mode approach
  • Reusable
  • Reduced electrical noise and power loss from long leads

Applications
  • Small satellites
  • Space launch vehicles
  • Remote sensing satellite
  • Small spacecraft
Technology Details

robotics automation and control
TOP2-267
ARC-17599-1

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