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Re: IPS and Amateur Satellite Software

At 13:22 04/03/2001 -0500, Timothy J. Salo wrote:
>The use of a widely known
>language with readily available development platforms increases the pool
>of potential software developers.  It probably also increases the quality
>of the software, in the sense that software idioms are probably more
>fully developed for a common language.  The widespread availability of the
>source code for satellite software increases the chances of good code
>reviews and the reuse of proven software.

You might be interested in some of NASA's current projects in this area.
I am involved in the 'Operating Missions as Nodes on the Internet' (OMNI)
project. We are developing a migration path away from the custom protocols 
that NASA has used on it's space-to-ground links for the past 20 years
toward the use of a standard IP protocol stack and commercially supported
physical and link layer protocols. See

Another project closely related to us is the flight linux project. They
are experimenting with various embedded and real-time linux kernels for
use in spacecraft computers. The objective being to move away from the 
very expensive and proprietary realtime OS's that are currently in use.

>[In hopes of avoiding the first 50 e-mails about the importance of
>closed source to security let me state that I believe that any on-board
>satellite software written today that has security that is dependent upon
>protecting the source code is fundamentally flawed.  Obviously,
>cryptographic keys need to be protected, but not source code.]

Since security is the first question that arises when you suggest 
connecting someones spacecraft to an IP network we have also
established an IP-in-Space secrity team who's job it is to produce 
a set of guidelines and suggested solutions for the use of IP on
space to ground links.

Ron wa4sir

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