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More Than Just CubeSats: Model-Based Software Engineering in Space

What is model-based software engineering?

At Bright Ascension we talk a lot about model-based software engineering, but what exactly does it mean?

Our model-based software platform provides a machine-readable description of the architecture of the system, which is understandable by both the space side and the ground side and is used across the life cycle of the system. The central elements of this platform are software components, which are entirely self-contained and have a coherent set of functionality. They are designed to create mission-specific spacecraft flight software through our Flight Software Development Kit (FSDK) by combining bespoke components with library components which have been previously validated.  

Model-based software engineering: the ticket to space  

This basic approach based on components means we can adapt our platform to any system that is suited to model-based software engineering. This could be small satellites, robotics, automated space systems, and much more. And it doesn’t just mean Low Earth Orbit either – we can take it much further than that.

Component-based engineering

While every spacecraft and mission are different, most space vehicles perform similar tasks, such as data acquisition, monitoring, logging, FDIR, TM/TC, scheduled/automated actions.

Our GenerationOne model-based software platform is built on a wide range of components, such as:

  • Data handling and monitoring components
    • Sampling, data pool, aggregation, logging, monitoring, statistics
    • Support for most common onboard monitoring functions
  • Communications components
    • Packet handling, telemetry reporting
    • Support for a number of different communications protocols
    • Support for ECSS PUS, CFDP and more
  • Automation components
    • Absolute and relative time scheduling, orbit-based scheduling
    • Event-based automation
    • Onboard scripting
  • Mission-specific custom components
    • Mode management, deployment sequencing, orbit counting

More Than Just CubeSats

This component-based approach allows the platform to work with new systems, new hardware, new and existing software components, meaning that the model-based software engineering approach can do so much more than just CubeSats.  Furthermore, with its abstraction from hardware, operating system, I/O and devices, our technology can manage many missions and applications that go beyond the CubeSat domain, such as all types of small satellites, complex and automated space systems, satellite constellations, robotics in space and more.

To find out more about how our model-based software engineering can help your mission – whether it’s a single satellite or a complex space system – contact us today.