A guide to mission control for small satellites


Today’s small satellites are becoming increasingly powerful, versatile, and high-performing systems capable of carrying out a wide variety of functions and mission applications.

This increase in complexity is placing a greater burden on flight software validation and verification (V&V) activities. According to different research studies, around 20% of CubeSats experience death on arrival (failure from the very first day of the mission) and 33% of failures have unknown sources. This highlights the importance of V&V and extended integration testing before launch.

To address these issues, Poland-based KP Labs has developed a modular on-board computer software SDK (software development kit) called Oryx, which is designed to easily test the flight software from the very early stage of mission development when there are no physical components present.

It can be used to implement a variety of satellite on-board management tasks such as:

  • processing operator telecommands and monitoring processes,
  • executing pre-defined schedules,
  • dynamic code execution via Lua scripts,
  • coordinating emergency responses, and
  • handling onboard sensor data.

In this webinar, Oryx Software Lead Engineer, Marcin Drobik, discusses the importance of effective flight software for satellites and shares advice on how to implement modern protocols and tools into your mission.

KP Labs’ portfolio

Oryx is a modular flight software tool developed for the mission control of small satellites. It manages all satellite tasks – namely, processing telecommands sent by the operators, monitoring the power budget, executing pre-defined schedules, managing emergencies and handling data.

The KP Labs Antelope can work as an On-Board Computer (OBC) with an optional Data Processing Unit (DPU) or as a data processing unit (DPU). OBC is the powerful heart of the satellite, responsible for satellite control and basic task performance such as communication handling, monitoring the satellite’s subsystems, handling the classic Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR) mechanism, and performing planned tasks.

The KP Labs' Lion is a data processing unit for advanced operations with the use of artificial intelligence and on-board data processing. The Lion DPU is dedicated to micro and small satellites weighing between 50 and 500kg.

A CubeSat standard-compliant Data Processing Unit (DPU) designed for the application of AI solutions in space. Leopard uses Deep Neural Networks to process data on-board and features FPGA to implement deep learning algorithms. The system has a throughput of up to 3 Tera Operations per second.

KP Labs’ The Herd - AI-powered algorithms for Earth Observation (EO) - is a set of AI-powered algorithms designed for EO data analysis.

Oasis is a single-board, CubeSat PC-104 compatible electrical ground support equipment that serves as an interface between the PC-running satellite systems simulators and the hardware engineering model.

Find out more about KP Labs here on their satsearch supplier hub, and sign up for the weekly satsearch newsletter to hear about all future events.

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