The next generation small satellite mission operations system includes a hardware bus architecture which, much like today's desktop workstations, would allow multiple processors, multiple peripherals, and payloads conforming to industry standard bus interfaces to be quickly integrated for a given mission. This hardware scalability is key to the software required to support the mission operations concept presented here. Such a bus architecture will enable redundancy and scalability, which will accommodate variations in subsystem and payload processing requirements., and will allow the addition of computing power as needed to enable much more onboard processing than is typical of traditional spacecraft computing systems.
The software system architecture proposed enables distribution of functions within the ground computing environment and between the space and ground sements of the overall computing environment. The major systems software functions within this end-to-end distributed computing environment include: