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Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space              linux.conf.au 2011                 Luke Weston          http://www.lu...
Introduction      What is Lunar Numbat?Lunar Numbat is an open-source space technology collaboration whichwas formed by a ...
Introduction      What We DoThe focus of our research and development at present is in three mainareas: rocket engine thro...
Introduction           AUSROC 2.0 / 2.5Figure: The AUSROC-2 launch vehicle on the launch rail, being loaded withliquid oxy...
Introduction      Australian Space ResearchWe’re now completing the development and testing of the CAN-interfacedpropellan...
IntroductionAUSROC 2.5Figure: Simulated velocity profile for AUSROC 2.5 flight.                                         Luna...
Figure: A static test firing of the AUSROC 2 rocket engine.                                          Lunar Numbat: Open Sou...
Introduction      ASRI activitiesWe are providing ASRI with innovative, low-cost open source solutions tomeet the needs of...
Figure: One of ASRI’s solid fuelled Zuni rockets being launched.                                              Lunar Numbat...
Engine Throttle Controllers      Engine throttle controllersWe are designing and implementing electronic controllers for t...
Engine Throttle Controllers           Open Software and Open HardwareFree is good - GNU and TAPR licenses    TAPR Open Har...
Engine Throttle Controllers           Mechanical Assembly     A pair of stainless steel ball valves, rated for cryogenic o...
Figure: The overall assembly of the AUSROC 2.5 valve fairing.                                            Lunar Numbat: Ope...
Engine Throttle Controllers           Throttle Controller ElectronicsFigure: The first generation valve control electronics...
Engine Throttle Controllers      CAN InterfaceCAN-Do! is a general purpose CAN interface module designed for use onsatelli...
Engine Throttle Controllers          CAN InterfaceFigure: An example of the CAN-do! hardware.http://can-do.moraco.info/Def...
Engine Throttle Controllers      White Label SpaceSuch systems will possibly be evolved further and applied on the WhiteLa...
Engine Throttle Controllers      Google Lunar X-PrizeUS$20 million prize for the first non-government mission to land aspac...
C-band Radar Altimeter      C-band Radar AltimeterWe’re also in the early stages of developing a radar altimeter for White...
C-band Radar Altimeter      C-band Radar AltimeterThe radar system we are in the early stages of developing will operate i...
C-band Radar Altimeter           C-band Radar AltimeterFigure: A microwave radar altimeter designed and built by Matjaˇ Vi...
Video and Image Compression      HD Video and Still CompressionWe’re developing systems for rapid, on-the-fly compression o...
Video and Image CompressionQuestions?                              Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space                ...
Video and Image Compression          Thanks!Many thanks to:  - Marco Ostini  - Lana Brindley  - Rob Brittain  - Stuart You...
Other Considerations      Radiation HardeningIt is true that you can’t just take any system using modernmicrocontrollers a...
Other Considerations      Radiation HardeningThere’s nothing “magical” about the environment of space. We knowwhat the con...
Other Considerations      Radiation HardeningSince C = Q , the smaller gate capacitance means that the voltage spike      ...
Other ConsiderationsSmaller-Scale Integration          Figure: Six transistors on a single chip!                          ...
Other Considerations      Radiation HardeningFPGAs can be configured with soft cores designed to be radiationtolerant; eg. ...
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Lunar Numbat: Space Exploration with Open Software and Open Hardware

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Lunar Numbat presentation authored and presented by Luke Weston at linux.conf.au 2011.

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Transcript of "Lunar Numbat: Space Exploration with Open Software and Open Hardware"

  1. 1. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space linux.conf.au 2011 Luke Weston http://www.lunarnumbat.org July 9, 2011 Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 1 / 29
  2. 2. Introduction What is Lunar Numbat?Lunar Numbat is an open-source space technology collaboration whichwas formed by a group of people from across Australia and New Zealandin 2009, with the intention of developing innovative, low-cost, open-sourcehardware and software solutions for space technology.Lunar Numbat hopes to encourage Australian and international innovationin space science and increase the accessibility of space development.The project was initiated in 2009 by Marco Ostini, and a review of LunarNumbat work was presented at linux.conf.au by Jon Oxer in 2010.Since then, however, some significant milestones have been accomplished. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 2 / 29
  3. 3. Introduction What We DoThe focus of our research and development at present is in three mainareas: rocket engine throttle control avionics, radar altimeters, and mediacompression.Linux, open hardware, open software development, open documentation,open standards, and community-driven collaboration all have an importantrole in meeting Lunar Numbat’s challenging goal of delivering flexible,useful space technologies at a relatively low cost.Lunar Numbat is collaborating with the Australian Space ResearchInstitute (ASRI), and with White Label Space, a team competing for theGoogle Lunar X-Prize. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 3 / 29
  4. 4. Introduction AUSROC 2.0 / 2.5Figure: The AUSROC-2 launch vehicle on the launch rail, being loaded withliquid oxygen prior to launch. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 4 / 29
  5. 5. Introduction Australian Space ResearchWe’re now completing the development and testing of the CAN-interfacedpropellant valve throttle controllers we have developed for AUSROC 2.5, apowerful liquid-fuelled sounding rocket developed as part of ASRI’sAUSROC program.7.5 meters tallLiquid-fuelled: kerosene and liquid oxygenPeak velocity = 1100 ms−1 (Mach 3.3)Apogee at about 33 kilometers (110,000 feet)Thrust = 35 kN; Isp = 240 seconds. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 5 / 29
  6. 6. IntroductionAUSROC 2.5Figure: Simulated velocity profile for AUSROC 2.5 flight. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 6 / 29
  7. 7. Figure: A static test firing of the AUSROC 2 rocket engine. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 7 / 29
  8. 8. Introduction ASRI activitiesWe are providing ASRI with innovative, low-cost open source solutions tomeet the needs of Australia’s own in-house space launch vehicle researchand development.In the process, we’re making a positive contribution back to Australianspace research, which is greatly in need of Australia’s support. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 8 / 29
  9. 9. Figure: One of ASRI’s solid fuelled Zuni rockets being launched. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 9 / 29
  10. 10. Engine Throttle Controllers Engine throttle controllersWe are designing and implementing electronic controllers for the valvesadmitting fuel and oxidiser to the liquid-fuelled rocket engine on AUSROC2.5.This electronic control over the propellant valves allows the flightcomputer to throttle down, stop and restart the rocket engine, as well asto adjust the fuel-oxidiser ratio on-the-fly.These throttle controllers embody a combination of open electronichardware, open-source embedded software, and some open mechanicaldesign. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 10 / 29
  11. 11. Engine Throttle Controllers Open Software and Open HardwareFree is good - GNU and TAPR licenses TAPR Open Hardware License - http://www.tapr.org/ohl.htmlFigure: The CAN interface component of our protoype engine control hardware. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 11 / 29
  12. 12. Engine Throttle Controllers Mechanical Assembly A pair of stainless steel ball valves, rated for cryogenic oxygen service, are used for the fuel and oxidiser. A pair of powerful DC brush motors and reduction gearheads move the valves, with a pair of position sensors to measure the absolute valve positions.Figure: The liquid oxygen valve assembly for AUSROC 2.5, including the ballvalve, reduction gearhead and motor. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 12 / 29
  13. 13. Figure: The overall assembly of the AUSROC 2.5 valve fairing. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 13 / 29
  14. 14. Engine Throttle Controllers Throttle Controller ElectronicsFigure: The first generation valve control electronics for the kerosene valve ofAUSROC 2.5. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 14 / 29
  15. 15. Engine Throttle Controllers CAN InterfaceCAN-Do! is a general purpose CAN interface module designed for use onsatellites and spacecraft.Designed by a group within the AMSAT community, led by Bdale Garbee.Based around the Atmel T89C51CC01 (8051 core).Already basically space-rated; tested for thermal and ionising radiationtolerance.Open source!An excellent starting point for White Label Space, perhaps! Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 15 / 29
  16. 16. Engine Throttle Controllers CAN InterfaceFigure: An example of the CAN-do! hardware.http://can-do.moraco.info/Default.htm Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 16 / 29
  17. 17. Engine Throttle Controllers White Label SpaceSuch systems will possibly be evolved further and applied on the WhiteLabel Space lunar lander. The ability to throttle the descent engine isessential for a controlled lunar landing.What is White Label Space?One of the teams in the Google Lunar X-Prize.The only team with any significant Australian involvement.Significant international partners in space technology, including peoplefrom ESA and the Swiss Propulsion Laboratory and people from TohukoUniversity with experience on the Hayabusa mission. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 17 / 29
  18. 18. Engine Throttle Controllers Google Lunar X-PrizeUS$20 million prize for the first non-government mission to land aspacecraft on the surface of the Moon, travel over 500 meters on thelunar surface, and transmit images and data back to Earth. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 18 / 29
  19. 19. C-band Radar Altimeter C-band Radar AltimeterWe’re also in the early stages of developing a radar altimeter for WhiteLabel Space. We’re working to develop a relatively simple, low-cost radaraltimeter, with the altitude range and resolution required to support thelanding of an unmanned probe on the lunar surface.For a successful landing on the moon, a lander needs to know its altitudeabove the lunar surface precisely, and the only means to do this is byradar.This unique use case requires a radar altimeter with large altitude rangeand high resolution, and no radar hardware suitable for this application isavailable off the shelf. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 19 / 29
  20. 20. C-band Radar Altimeter C-band Radar AltimeterThe radar system we are in the early stages of developing will operate inthe C-band, at about 4.3 GHz, and will probably be based around anARM microcontroller controlling the microwave heterodyne system.The microwave component of this system will be constructed using highelectron mobility transistors (HEMTs) on a Teflon or similar PCBsubstrate with good microwave performance, using microstrip technology.This radar altimeter designed and built by Matjaˇ Vidmar and completely zopen-sourced onto the Web is very similar to the kind of radar system weare aiming to implement - although our system will have a greater rangeand RF power output. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 20 / 29
  21. 21. C-band Radar Altimeter C-band Radar AltimeterFigure: A microwave radar altimeter designed and built by Matjaˇ Vidmar for zuse on a small aircraft.See http://lea.hamradio.si/∼s53mv/avnr/adesign.html Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 21 / 29
  22. 22. Video and Image Compression HD Video and Still CompressionWe’re developing systems for rapid, on-the-fly compression ofhigh-definition video and still images, suitable for the transmission ofhigh-definition images from spacecraft where very limited amounts ofcommunications bandwidth are available.This will be important, for example, on lunar rovers participating in theGoogle Lunar X-Prize, since video and image transmission is a keyrequirement of the GLXP.In particular, we’re investigating JPEG2000 and MJPEG2000(Motion JPEG)-based systems. A proof-of-concept - “JPEG2000Decimator” - has been experimented with so far.This video and image processing will require moderately powerfulembedded computers running Linux, and/or FPGAs, which will operatesuccessfully for the mission duration required in the thermal andradiological environment of the lunar surface. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 22 / 29
  23. 23. Video and Image CompressionQuestions? Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 23 / 29
  24. 24. Video and Image Compression Thanks!Many thanks to: - Marco Ostini - Lana Brindley - Rob Brittain - Stuart Young - Joanna Cheng - Andy Gelme - Roy Duncan - Mark Blair - Jon Oxer - Lee Begg Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 24 / 29
  25. 25. Other Considerations Radiation HardeningIt is true that you can’t just take any system using modernmicrocontrollers and VLSIs that you’ve designed for use inside theatmosphere, launch it into space and expect that it will work reliably onan ongoing basis.However, it is practical to build electronic systems using standardoff-the-shelf components which can survive and operate in space, withoutspending hundreds of thousands of dollars on “real” radiation-hardenedembedded CPUs such as the IBM RAD6000 or RAD750.When we look at the amateur satellite community, for example, we find agood deal of experience and prior art designing electronics systems for useon satellites, which operate reliably in space for an extended period oftime, which are designed and implemented at relatively low costs, usingrelatively simple electronics. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 25 / 29
  26. 26. Other Considerations Radiation HardeningThere’s nothing “magical” about the environment of space. We knowwhat the conditions of temperature and ionising radiation experienced bya spacecraft will be, and we can design space systems to ensure reliabilityfor the mission profile required.When Apollo astronauts travelled to the Moon, for example, the ionisingradiation doses they received were recorded on their personal dosimeters.As transistor integration density becomes higher and higher on modernVLSI chips, the transistors themselves are fabricated smaller and smaller,and therefore, the gate capacitance of the transistors becomes smaller andsmaller. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 26 / 29
  27. 27. Other Considerations Radiation HardeningSince C = Q , the smaller gate capacitance means that the voltage spike Vthat results when a charged particle (such as an electron or proton)carrying a certain quantum of charge hits the transistor’s gate is muchlarger. This is why VLSI devices are more susceptible to radiation-inducedsoft errors than older devices with lower integration density.Radiation-hardening was actually less of a challenge in the Apollo era thanit was today. The higher the transistor density on an IC, the moresusceptible to radiation effects it is. The magnetic-core memory andprimative integrated circuits used on Apollo were not susceptible toradiation effects, whereas modern microprocessors and memory devicesare.The simple RTL logic gate ICs used to build the Apollo GuidanceComputers contained a whopping 6 transistors on each chip. Forcomparison, today, an ARM7 chip contains about 600,000. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 27 / 29
  28. 28. Other ConsiderationsSmaller-Scale Integration Figure: Six transistors on a single chip! Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 28 / 29
  29. 29. Other Considerations Radiation HardeningFPGAs can be configured with soft cores designed to be radiationtolerant; eg. redundancy to tolerate cosmic-ray bit flips.The Cibola satellite developed several years ago at Los Alamos willvalidate the space use of commercial, off-the-shelf Xilinx FPGAs.The Cibola team has been actively testing Xilinx FPGAs since 1999, toevaluate the use of off-the-shelf FPGAs in the space radiationenvironment. Lunar Numbat: Open Source Goes To Space 29 / 29
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