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Flight Software Design for Lunar Exploration: A Case Study

Jacob Beningo

Flight Software Design for Lunar Exploration: A Case Study
Jacob Beningo

A typical satellite flight computer will often directly control its propulsion system. Direct control, while convenient, adds hardware and software complexity to a flight computer system that is often already overburdened with duties. In the CAPSTONE mission to the moon, the Stellar Exploration Inc. propulsion module was used to uniquely decouple propulsive maneuvers from the flight computer to a propulsion controller.

This session will explore the techniques and tools employed to create robust flight software for Capstone's propulsion controller. Attendees will gain insight into modern development processes, tools, and techniques through real-world examples and learn how software architecture was broken down and implemented as a quasi-microservices architecture. Additionally, we will showcase how RTOS task code was modularized and how configuration tools were utilized to manage RTOS tasks automatically.

Topics covered in this talk will include:

  • Software architecture best practices
  • How to write mission configurable flight software
  • Modern development software processes such as unit testing, DevOps, etc
  • Flight software quality analysis
  • Examples from CAPSTONE, an Artemis mission to Lunar orbit
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