Friday, October 28, 2011

Flight Software Workshop and Goddard Space Center Visit

OAR was a sponsor of 2011 Workshop on Spacecraft Flight Software at the John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory held October 20 - 22 2011. This was the first time OAR had been an event sponsor and the first time RTEMS stickers have ever been given away. We had spent weeks preparing a new table top display for RTEMS, updating flyers for the project and our services, and having stickers made. The preparation was a lot of work that was outside our primary skill sets. Jennifer Averett is a core RTEMS developer who did the artwork. We are technical folks and not marketing or sales types. If you have ever worked with us to get a quote, you would know. Hence this was a challenge. If you have any suggestions on our display, flyers, etc., please share them.

Chris is much more special.
Mark Johannes, Chris Johns, and I were fortunate enough to have Alan Cudmore take us on a tour of Goddard Space Center. We first visited their SpaceCube lab and saw the smaller current generation and a larger newer one which had been flown on a sounding rocket.

MMS "Flat Sat" Work Area
Alan showed us the MMS laboratory where we chatted and learned about their workflow. The lab included a “flat sat” version with the electronics of a single node from the constellation. Their laboratory also included hardware required to test the system driving all inputs. Very impressive.


The laboratory setup was very nice but we were all shocked when we saw the MMS assembly area and how large each of the four satellites in the constellation was. We expected birthday cake size and they are the diameter of a large rocket body. Each satellite is running a hardened Coldfire CPU with RTEMS and application software built on top of the Core Flight Executive. 

Although not running RTEMS, seeing the James Webb Telescope and Hubble Service Mission assembly areas was a real treat. It is ultimately about the science and I am proud RTEMS is a part of it.

The Workshop on Spacecraft Flight Software  was a real treat. Gedare Bloom and his wife joined Chris, Mark, and I there. I have been to the last three FSW's and have been blown away repeatedly at the incredible work being done by this community. As might be expected, we collectively were delightfully pleased to see so many people using or considering RTEMS. It is quite humbling. Many attendees shared their RTEMS experiences and plans with us. The presentations were video recorded and should be available with slides in the near future.  Presentations and video from previous years is also available online.

All in all, it was a fabulously rewarding experience getting to meet so many people, tour Goddard Space Center, and hear about so many projects.

No comments:

Post a Comment