Rugged single-board computer for space embedded computing applications introduced by Aitech

CHATSWORTH, Calif. – Aitech Defense Systems Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif., is integrating the NASA core Flight System (cFS) into the company's SP0-S space single-board computer for space applications.

Apr 26th, 2019
By Mil & Aero staff
By Mil & Aero staff

CHATSWORTH, Calif. – Aitech Defense Systems Inc. in Chatsworth, Calif., is integrating the NASA core Flight System (cFS) into the company's SP0-S space single-board computer for space applications.

NASA's cFS is a platform- and project-independent reusable software framework and reusable software applications. It is composed of three aspects -- a dynamic run-time environment, layered software, and a component-based design -- that combine to make the cFS suitable for reuse on NASA flight projects and embedded software systems.

Aitech is working together with Embedded Flight Systems Inc. (EFSI) in Laurel, Md., on the job to integrate cFS in the Aitech SP0-S embedded computing" target='_blank'>embedded computing board for space. EFSI provides engineering services in satellite, payload, ground systems, automation, simulation, and flight software.

The flight software framework takes advantage of Goddard Space Flight Center flight software efforts and addresses the challenges of rapidly increasing software development costs and schedules due to the constant changes and advancements in flight hardware.

Using the low power and high performance offered by the NXP MPC8548E PowerQuicc processor, along with the advanced Linux environment of Xenomai real-time Linux, Aitech's SP0-S space processor has been demonstrated to NASA running Linux 4.14 with Xenomai 3.0.6 to provide hard real-time, hard deadline guarantees.

Related: Embedded computer enclosure for mission-critical space applications introduced by Aitech

EFSI created the demonstration for NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston. The demonstration compiled NASA's cFS to run on Xenomai 3's hard-real-time Cobalt POSIX implementation. Using Xenomai's temporal partitioning scheduler, several instances of CFS ran and communicated across the partition boundary with software bus networking (SBM) -- a JSC product that expands the cFS software bus to other cFS runtime instances. Using this environment, several cFS instances run independently of each other.

The temporal partitioning and cFS combination helps safeguard a critical application and a noncritical application, such as GN&C application or an instrument application. Additionally, it could function in a voting scheme to increase overall radiation tolerance of a spacecraft system.

The Aitech SP0-S features several hardware I/O and software options, including ECC-protected SDRAM. It also includes user Flash and EEPROM and auto-failover, redundant boot Flash, two on-board Gigabit Ethernet ports, serial ports, discrete I/O, temperature sensors, and three watchdog timers. This increase a system's ability to scale to more complex applications.

For more information contact Aitech online at https://rugged.com.

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