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The Implementation of Satellite Control System Software Using Object Oriented DesignNASA established the Small Explorer (SMEX) program in 1988 to provide frequent opportunities for highly focused and relatively inexpensive space science missions that can be launched into low earth orbit by small expendable vehicles. The development schedule for each SMEX spacecraft was three years from start to launch. The SMEX program has produced five satellites; Solar Anomalous and Magnetospheric Particle Explorer (SAMPEX), Fast Auroral Snapshot Explorer (FAST), Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite (SWAS), Transition Region and Coronal Explorer (TRACE) and Wide-Field Infrared Explorer (WIRE). SAMPEX and FAST are on-orbit, TRACE is scheduled to be launched in April of 1998, WIRE is scheduled to be launched in September of 1998, and SWAS is scheduled to be launched in January of 1999. In each of these missions, the Attitude Control System (ACS) software was written using a modular procedural design. Current program goals require complete spacecraft development within 18 months. This requirement has increased pressure to write reusable flight software. Object-Oriented Design (OOD) offers the constructs for developing an application that only needs modification for mission unique requirements. This paper describes the OOD that was used to develop the SMEX-Lite ACS software. The SMEX-Lite ACS is three-axis controlled, momentum stabilized, and is capable of performing sub-arc-minute pointing. The paper first describes the high level requirements which governed the architecture of the SMEX-Lite ACS software. Next, the context in which the software resides is explained. The paper describes the benefits of encapsulation, inheritance and polymorphism with respect to the implementation of an ACS software system. This paper will discuss the design of several software components that comprise the ACS software. Specifically, Object-Oriented designs are presented for sensor data processing, attitude control, attitude determination and failure detection. The paper addresses the benefits of the OOD versus a conventional procedural design. The final discussion in this paper will address the establishment of the ACS Foundation Class (AFC) Library. The AFC is a large software repository, requiring a minimal amount of code modifications to produce ACS software for future projects, saving production time and costs.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Anderson, Mark O. (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Reid, Mark (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Drury, Derek (Hammers Co. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Hansell, William (Hammers Co. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Phillips, Tom (Hammers Co. Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1998
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Meeting Information
Small Satellites(Logan, UT)
Distribution Limits