GenerationOne CubeSat Software is GO for Operations

The recent SSO-A launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 from Vandenberg in California saw the deployment of three further spacecraft using Bright Ascension technology. Three teams used the GenerationOne Flight Software Development Kit to accelerate their mission development, with two of those also using the Mission Control Software to take the advantage of the seamless integration offered by the GenerationOne suite.

Within days of the launch, on the 3rd December, teams had begun tracking their satellites. The three spacecraft service very different applications. Fleet Space Technologies’ Centauri-2, is an industry-leading IoT communications satellite. The Audacy Zero CubeSat is a pilot for Audacy’s space relay communications service, and will be the first Ka-Band nano-satellite. SeaHawk-1, lead by the University of North Carolina Wilmington, hosts a hyperspectral imaging payload.

The SeaHawk-1 spacecraft, built and operated by Clyde Space in Glasgow, Scotland, is a pilot for a potential ocean colour monitoring constellation, collecting biological data from space and downlinking that via NASA’s Near Earth Network. Bright Ascension is directly supporting the SeaHawk operations team and look forward to seeing the first images from the HawkEye imager in the coming months.

Successful Launch of Two More Bright Ascension-Powered CubeSats

This morning’s successful launch carried 29 CubeSats to orbit, including two more satellites using Bright Ascension’s GenerationOne Flight Software Development Kit. These satellites, Kepler Communications’ CASE, and Fleet Space Technologies’ Centauri-1, represent important milestones for both organisations. The launch of the PSLV from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in India carries the third and fourth satellites to use the company’s GenerationOne technology.

Bright Ascension has been privileged to support both the Kepler and Fleet teams in the development of their world-leading CubeSats. For both missions, Bright Ascension’s industry-leading CubeSat flight software product has helped them keep development time short, getting them to market faster.  Use of the GenerationOne Mission Control Software will likewise help both organisations to manage their missions effectively, integrating seamlessly with the flight software.

Bright Ascension are anticipating the launch of a further four CubeSats using GenerationOne technology in December with many more next year.

Bright Ascension provide software support for Hyperion Linux processing platform

August 2018- Scottish space software company Bright Ascension Ltd have developed software to support a Linux-based computing platform (CP400.85 ) developed by Dutch technology company Hyperion Technologies BV. Hyperion primarily designs components for the small space craft market. The CP400.85 platform is a high compute power, low energy consumption, general purpose processing platform, which can be used either as an on-board computer, or as a payload data processor.

The CP400.85 is now supported by Bright Ascension’s Flight Software Development Kit (FSDK). The FSDK allows users to build flight software out of pre-existing and pre-validated components to create a flight software package which is tailored to the exact requirements of each unique mission.

Steven Engelen, CEO, from Hyperion commented “The Linux-based operating system allows users to run various algorithms as distinct, uploadable applications, enabling almost limitless possibilities. This combined with the fact that it is now compatible with the Bright Ascension FSDK really puts flexibility in the hands of our customers as it essentially means that our platform can be easily integrated whatever the mission requirements”.

Bright Ascension FSDK has been developed primarily for the cubesat and nano-satellite market. The FSDK allows users to design software which is fully customisable and compatible with any payload and satellite. This allows users to build a software package for their mission tailored exactly to their needs, requirements, and hardware. It also allows for agile development as the software can be reiterated as requirements change.

Hyperion Technologies was founded in 2013 with an eye on improving the capabilities of small satellite platforms through developing and providing state-of-the-art high performance components. Originally they started with the ST200, which was by far the world’s smallest star tracker at the time. They have since been releasing fully integrated attitude determination and control systems, high performance propulsion modules, and high performance data handling and computing platforms.

StellarStation to be pre-integrated into mission control software solutions from Bright Ascension, GMV, Spaceit

Infostellar has entered multiple partnership agreements with mission control software providers to pre-integrate StellarStation into their software products. These partners include Bright Ascension and Spaceit. StellarStation has also been deemed compatible with GMV’s software products and can be integrated in the future according to customer demand.

As a result of this partnership, users of these mission control software products will have the option of choosing StellarStation as a ready-made ground station network without worrying about custom integration. This minimizes the time and investment needed to secure ground services, allowing users to focus on the main developmental challenges of their missions.

By pre-integrating mission control software and ground station networks, Infostellar hopes to minimize labor and lead time for satellite operators.

About Infostellar

Infostellar is a satellite communications infrastructure provider developing a quick and flexible ground station network called StellarStation. By lowering barriers to entry in the ground segment, Infostellar empowers newspace startups to build better missions and improve the quality of their service. Founded in 2016, Infostellar is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.

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Bright Ascension provide software support for Radiation Hardened Computer to take Cubesats into further reaching orbits

August 2018- Scottish space software company Bright Ascension Ltd have developed software to support a radiation hardened computer chip (RH-OBC-1) designed by Texas-based Hi-Tech company VORAGO Technologies. The Onboard Computer (OBC) has been designed as a plug-and-play component for CubeSats orbiting in high radiation environments. Radiation hardening of components allows Cubestats to orbit further from the Earth than a traditional mission as it mitigates the disruptive effects of radiation on electrical components.

The RH-OBC-1 is now supported by Bright Ascension’s Flight Software Development Kit (FSDK). The FSDK allows users to build flight software out of pre-existing and pre-validated components to create a flight software package which is tailored to the exact requirements of each unique mission.
Ross Bannatyne from VORAGO Technologies commented “We are looking forward to offering this advanced capability to our customers and we are always looking for ways to provide more value to our customers. Having Bright Ascension support for the RH-OBC-1 allows our customers to focus more energy on the mission at hand, rather than worrying about integration and compatibility issues”.

Integrating radiation-hardened components allows CubeSats to operate further from the Earth as the components are designed to mitigate the effects of radiation which can disrupt operation or destroy CMOS semiconductors.

The RH-OBC-1 incorporates ICs and circuits that are designed to operate in environments of extreme radiation. The OBC is based upon the VORAGO Technologies VA10820 ARM® Cortex®-M0 microcontroller, a radiation-hardened low-power device that supported with the ARM development ecosystem and is gaining popularity in many CubeSat designs.

Vorago Technologies

VORAGO Technologies is a privately held, high-technology company based in Austin, TX with patented and proven solutions that enable electronics systems for extreme temperature and radiation environments. Semiconductor device operation in an extreme radiation environment is enabled by the use of VORAGO’s HARDSIL® technology. HARDSIL uses standard manufacturing equipment with no negative impact on performance or yields. This approach is a highly cost-effective and fast alternative to conventional rad-hard by design (RHBD) techniques, specialized wafer fabrication processes, up- screened commercial products, redundant systems, or mechanical shielding.