Plug-and-Play – An Enabling Capability for Responsive Space Missions


A self-organizing network concept, leveraging commercial approaches is under development to support responsive space avionics networks. The work is being done in support of an Air Force contract, including the following elements: a network manager (hardware and network medium specific component), mission manager (mission objective specific), and GN&C algorithms for a four state activity (power-on, initialize, nominal GN&C, safe). The current work emphasizes the resource manager, which is responsible for discovering resources as they come on-line. It also manages real-time data descriptions and health/status information for potential consumers of each produced element within the overall network. These mechanisms form a basic system for plug-and-play, in which the components of a system can be rapidly assembled with minimal need to write detailed, low-level code pertaining to the interface of each element. The resulting automation allows system designers to focus on design of higher-level software in an object-oriented fashion, a process that itself might be automated under this concept.

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Morphopoulos, T., L.J. Hansen, J. Pollack, J. Lyke, S. Cannon. 2nd AIAA Responsive Space Conference, El Segundo, CA. April 19–22, 2004.