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Flight Computers


On April 29th I sent the message (below) with a copy to amsat-bb. I am
working on the design of the new AMSAT OSCAR-E satellite and there are a
number of open issues that will need to be addressed, this being only
one. I have sent out a call for volunteers and received a number of
responses but none with expertise in this area.

The results have been phenomenal! In just a few days there has been a
lively discussion covering a wide range of options.  I have spent hours
on the phone and in private e-mails with people who have particular
interests in this area. I have learned a great deal.

Thank you!  I want you to know that AMSAT is listening to your inputs
(or at least I am). There are so many messages that I can't possibly
respond to them all.

The conclusions, so far:

1) RTLinux will not run on the V53 flight computer and an open source
version of RTLinux is not currently available for the ARM-based payload
processor, either.

2) RTEMS is a strong candidate if we can get someone to volunteer to
work on a trial port.

3) Otherwise, SCOS is the only way to go for the flight computer.

As for other options, there are many.  The most interesting may be JAVA
engines like the TINI board.  My experience with my two TINI boards
suggests that the technology is not ready for space. However, JAVA may
be a strong candidate for control station software, which is now written
largely for DOS.  

I hope that by putting issues like this out to the amsat-bb list members
will have the opportunity to participate more fully in the design
decisions for new satellites. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Rick Hambly (W2GPS) [mailto:w2gps@cnssys.com] 
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2002 9:55 AM
To: 'Jim White'
Cc: 'amsat-bb@AMSAT.Org'; 'Chuck Green'; 'Lyle Johnson'
Subject: RE: [amsat-bb] Flight Computers


I saw your message about flight computer software on AMSAT-BB.  I am
looking into using an open source operating system (RTLinux, RTEMS,
etc.) for either or both of the processors on AMSAT OSCAR-E (AO-E).
That includes the IHU, based on the NEC V53A processor, and the
ARM-based payload processor that (I hope) will be designed by Lyle.

I am also looking at using an open source operating system for the
ground segment of the wide-band digital experiment.

I would appreciate your candid comments on this as the project matures.
I would also like to encourage your participation in the AO-E project.


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