"K2 Tuesdays" - Software for Command and Data Handling

K2 Tuesdays is a semi-regular series on the development of KySat-2, the latest spacecraft from Kentucky Space. Prior installments are here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For this week's "K2 Tuesday" I wanted to shine some light on the software portion of the KySat-2 developmnt. Currently software is being developed for the power system at Morehead State University and for the image processing and on-board computer subsytems at the Univeristy of Kentucky. Jason Rexroat (UK) is the team lead on the software development for the C&DH (technical term for the controlling computer). He passed along the following message:

The team has made considerable progress over the last few days with the flight software, notably ironing out many of our bugs with the scheduler and getting it to schedule and execute properly. I've attached a screenshot of it in action, and would be happy to show (or anyone else) when they're around.

The screenshot shows the output of our main loop, which executes three different example tasks at various intervals. The print shows the time at which the task executed (tasks without a time printed executed at the same time as the previous print). "Execution" entails a simple print statement showing the initials of the task, but in the future will be a function call for the relevant task. The initials break down as follows:

CB = Configure Beacon

MF = Move File

TF = Transfer File

The program is also running our network monitor, which would print if there were any errors, and kicking the watchdog, whose timeout interval is currently set to 10 seconds.

Now that this skeletal software has proven itself, Jason and the teams from UK and MSU will begin building specifc functions for the spacecraft to carryout.

Twyman Clements, Space Systems Engineer, Kentucky Space