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Development of a fault-tolerant software for a CubeSat Test Platform

Giovanni Cena

Development of a fault-tolerant software for a CubeSat Test Platform.

Rel. Sabrina Corpino, Fabrizio Stesina. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale, 2021

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This thesis deals with the work on ESA-uProp program sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) that aims at developing a CubeSat Test Platform (CTP) for the verification and qualification of miniaturized electric propulsion systems. The goal of the project is to assess the mutual interactions between the current CubeSat technologies and the new propulsion systems, in order to improve the Technological Readiness Level (TRL). The thesis is focused on the first phase of design of ESA-uProp 3 project: the heritage of the previous project ESA-uProp 2, the analysis of the objectives and the drivers that define the product, the preliminary design, development tests and the beginning of integration of the prototype. In particular, this thesis analyses the aspects of hardware and software redundancy and functions distribution in order to improve the reliability and safety of the product. Different fault tolerant techniques are investigated and implemented to support the memory storage and the transmission of the data gathered by the onboard systems. Solutions on the hardware include passive, active and hybrid redundancies applied at component and part levels. The verification of these solutions are made on through a step-by-step approach: it means verification of the single modules one-by-one and then integration of all parts up to the final product assembly. In the first chapter the motivations of this thesis are explained. The particular economical and technological environment of these years is emphasizing the importance of focusing the research on small satellites. There is a rapid overview of the main adopted reliability philosophies (i.e. fault avoidance and fault tolerant techniques) and the reasons that led to follow a Fault Tolerant Design as promising solution. The second chapter is focused on the Fault Tolerant Design techniques. Main ones are classified, discussed individually and compared according with their possible application in the project. Different techniques of hardware, passive and active and hybrid, and information redundancy are detailed in order to select the most effective techniques for the ESA-uProp Project. The third chapter is the core of the thesis because Fault Tolerant techniques are applied to two case studies, ESA-uProp 2 and ESA-uProp 3, that are presented in terms of general description and architecture. The focus is posed on the testing that includes the definition of the plan, the procedures, the setup, the execution and the discussion of the results for the conducted test campaign. It is demonstrated that the solutions applied to improve the reliability work properly because a reduced loss of information occurs both for storage in memory and the transmission of data, an improvement of the acquisition accuracy of the information from the onboard sensor and sensing circuits is observed, and the critical parameters are correctly managed. Finally, the integrated software is able to manage all the operative modes of the platform. The thesis results allows to consider the onboard computer system ready for the final integration with the other subsystem and with the ground support system. In the next future, pre-qualification tests of the integrated CTP are planned and the final test campaign at ESA/ESTEC is planned for the end of 2021.

Relators: Sabrina Corpino, Fabrizio Stesina
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 97
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-20 - AEROSPATIAL AND ASTRONAUTIC ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/18904
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