A reusable command and data handling system for university CubeSat missions

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Date

2013-12

Authors

Johl, Shaina Ashley Mattu

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Abstract

A Command and Data Handling (C&DH) system is being developed as part of a series of CubeSat missions being built at The University of Texas at Austin’s Texas Spacecraft Laboratory (TSL). With concurrent development of four missions, and with more missions planned for the future, the C&DH team is developing a system architecture that can support many mission requirements. The presented research aims to establish itself as a reference for the development of the C&DH system architecture so that it can be reused for future university missions. The C&DH system is designed using a centralized architecture with one main flight computer controlling the actions and the state of the satellite. A Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) system-on-module embedded computer running a Linux environment hosted on a custom interface board is used as the platform for the mission software. This design choice and the implementation details of the flight software are described in detail in this report. The design of the flight software and the associated hardware are integral components of the spacecraft for the current missions in the TSL which, when flown, will be some of the most operationally complex CubeSat missions attempted to date.

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