The Simulation-To-Flight 1 primary objective is, at the most basic level, to be able to run spacecraft flight software on a laptop computer and have it think that it is really in space. At NASA, we always aim to embrace the goal of “test as you fly, and fly as you test”. This means developing hardware simulators for each little board or component in STF-1 from the radio to the temperature sensors to make this possible. The NASA IV&V team has officially named this software package NOS3 or the NASA Operational Simulator for Small Satellites. This is based on the NOS Engine middleware package developed internally at IV&V. The objectives are defined as follows:
- Open source CubeSat risk reduction solution
- Produce evidence of cost and time savings
- Develop advanced toolset to identify & resolve software issues
- Perform meaningful science driven from research and institutions
- Foster and spread knowledge throughout NASA
The major benefits of this package are the ability to perform flight software (FSW) development earlier, aid in the verification and validation process, perform early application development and payload integration, and mission planning or day in the life activities. This package is already easy to deploy and begin using. A sample of what it looks like is provided below.
Currently, NOS3 utilizes two open source projects from GSFC. These include Core Flight System (CFS) and the 42 Dynamic Simulator. These packages are paired with the open source project COSMOS from Ball Aerospace and custom developed software to provide the full open source solution to users. The process to make this available to download is currently underway.