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The hardware must support the various
demands of increasing levels of automation by providing
basic functionality including:
In addition, to provide the performance that widely
varying mission requirements demand, the hardware may
support scalability by incorporating additional features
- Sufficient processing ability for increased software
- Interrupt support and hardware timers, necessary
for real-time operating system support.
- Sufficient memory, processing power, and system
resources to support mission goals.
- Adequate communications bandwidth to support
the transfer of data and commands between the
ground system and flight system.
- Non-volatile memory for storage of code updates
and system configuration parameters.
- Sufficient I/O capability, including both adequate
transfer rate and numbers and types of channels.
- Direct memory access (DMA) support to allow
high speed transfers between system peripherals
- Use of appropriate standards such as VMEbus to
allow easy incorporation of additional interfaces
and multi-processing capability, which can also allow redundancy to protect against a single processor failure.
- Support for increasingly compact, inexpensive,
and power-thrifty memory elements such as solid
state disks and standards such as PCMCIA to allow
a system to contain far more data storage capability
than was previously possible.
- Support for reusability and reconfigurability; an
example being Field Programmable Gate Arrays
(FPGA's) used as I/O interfaces.
- Network support, so that if required, communication between multiple computers in the same
spacecraft or within a constellation may use
commercial network protocol standards such as
By providing the ability to reuse existing hardware designs merely by upgrading to the current technology, less
time is spent developing and maintaining mission operations software specific to each hardware configuration,
thus maximizing the benefits of software reuse.
Tue Apr 16 17:17:49 MDT 1996