It is becoming more important to the space community that spacecraft be developed in direct support of responsive missions, which implies that spacecraft need to be “built to inventory”, constructed from off-the-shelf components based on varying mission needs, and/or integrated rapidly with payloads as they are identified and available. Microcosm, in conjunction with HRP Systems, under several SBIRs from AFRL/VSSE, has developed a rapid prototype implementation of Plug-and-Play (PnP) components and generic core algorithms that are focused on a guidance, navigation, and control (GN&C) application for spacecraft scheduled for demonstration on the AFRL PnPSat. This paper will address architectural issues that drive a PnP implementation of the GN&C function, with an emphasis on identifying and understanding all of the pros and cons associated with this implementation path. Additionally, the paper will examine the Microcosm/HRP Systems approach to GN&C design, including software partitioning, algorithm development, and performance testing.
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Graven, P., L.J. Hansen. AIAA Infotech@Aerospace 2007 Conference and Exhibit, Rohnert Park, CA. May 7–10, 2007.