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Software development of a Cubesat test platform for electric propulsion systems. Development, integration and tests under ECSS guidelines.

Marco Visca

Software development of a Cubesat test platform for electric propulsion systems. Development, integration and tests under ECSS guidelines.

Rel. Sabrina Corpino, Fabrizio Stesina. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica), 2018


The present thesis was born as part of a joint project between the CubeSat Teamof Politecnico di Torino and the European Space Agency (ESA). The objective of this collaboration is to design a Cubesat platform able to perform several typologies of tests on miniaturized electric propulsion systems. By means of these tests, it is intended to study the effects of electric propulsion systems within a host platform and to increase their Technology Readiness Level (TRL). Specifically, this thesis deals with the first phases of software development, integration and tests for the above mentioned platform. A standard approach has been used during the whole project, such to make the customer-supplier relationship as clear and effective as possible. This refers to the “European Cooperation for Space Standardization” (ECSS) normative, which is the standard approach used by European agencies, industries and universities to develop any space products. As far as this work is concerned, it has been mainly addressed the “Software Engineering” ECSS standard book. Between the preliminary activities of the project, it must be considered that a detailed survey has been performed on the current state-of-the-art of miniaturized propulsion systems. Then, the collected information has been used to define the hosting platform software and hardware peculiarities, such that high-level and technical requirements have been drawn and a preliminary architectural design of the platform has been devised. A focus is put on how all these functional and operational specifications are re-flected on the hardware design of the C&DH (Command and Data Handling) board and the developing, integration and test of each software units. Between them, the most important are: control and settings of interfaces, information redundancy strategies for data and telemetry storage and communication, measurements acquisition and processing from sensors. A specific mention must be given to the possibility of the software to adapt to the actual propulsion system under test, by means of minimum software and hardware modifications. Each unit has been tested alone and integrated by means of a Preliminary TestBench Platform (PTBC), allowing to perform software and processor in the loop tests, as well as some simulated hardware ones. The next phases of the project will include tests’ repetition on the produced C&DH board and validation of the software with respect to the Requirements Base-line (RB) and Technical Specifications (TS).

Relators: Sabrina Corpino, Fabrizio Stesina
Academic year: 2018/19
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 129
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Full text non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-25 - AUTOMATION ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/8352
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