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Friday, October 11 • 10:50 - 11:10
Software for Next-Generation Space Missions

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Technological advancements such as launch reusability and advanced manufacturing are paving the way to exciting growth in the next decade. Emerging markets such as lunar payload delivery, satellite mega-constellations and orbital robotics servicing will rise and mature. Yet, one major impediment to this optimistic outlook is the state of software development.

Flight software is developed linearly and is highly customized to embedded targets. This limits portability between targets and reusability across spacecraft and missions. Software is typically tailored and rewritten for individual applications making development slow, expensive and a highly specialized task. Computationally limited flight hardware imposes limits on algorithm and mission design and performance. For commercial missions, ground software, infrastructure, and user interfaces are custom built, application-specific, and are designed with little consideration for scalable and secure distribution of data and command authority. To address these challenges, Mission Control is developing an end-to-end suite of solutions in the flight and ground segments that leverages state-of-the-art software design practices and technologies. The ground segment is a cloud-based solution to provide on-demand software at scale for distributed mission operations and data analytics. The space segment consists of a flight software platform that can run on radiation-tolerant Linux-capable COTS processors with high processing power. It supports higher-level software languages than traditionally used on heritage space hardware. Overall, it enables rapid development and powerful algorithms in space and ground segments, which in turn enables intelligence and autonomy.

This presentation will summarize some of the pain points that will limit the viability of commercial space exploration and describe strategies to address them. Our vision is to grow an ecosystem of flight software developers, users and applications while providing turn-key mission-as-a-service solutions for terrestrial and space mission operations. We believe that lowering the barriers to flight software development, facilitating more autonomy in space and enabling direct accessibility to space missions supports the democratization and commercialization of space exploration

avatar for Kaizad Raimalwala

Kaizad Raimalwala

Robotics Engineer, Mission Control Space Services
I'm a long-time space geek and robotics engineer with a special love for making planetary rovers smarter, safer, and more productive. At Mission Control, I enjoy research, developing robotics and mission operations software, testing at analogue field sites, UI/UX design for web applications... Read More →

Friday October 11, 2019 10:50 - 11:10 EDT
Room CR2 ICAO - 999 Boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Montréal, QC H3C 5H10