Os Boswell

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Os Boswell

  1. 1. The Open Source Space Software Community <ul><li>David Boswell </li></ul><ul><li>Mozilla Foundation </li></ul><ul><li>Jessy-Cowan Sharp </li></ul><ul><li>NASA Ames Research Center </li></ul>
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Brief Overview of the Community </li></ul><ul><li>Hurdles to Adoption </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study: FlightLinux </li></ul><ul><li>Case Study: CosmosCode </li></ul><ul><li>Questions </li></ul>
  3. 3. Brief Overview of the Community <ul><li>NASA: NOSA license , World Wind , CosmosCode </li></ul><ul><li>European Space Agency: FITS Liberator , RACSI, GOAS </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific tools: OrbFit , [email_address] , Midnight Mars Browser </li></ul><ul><li>Engineering tools: Open-SESSAME , Open FlightLinux , JAT </li></ul><ul><li>Community sites: DevelopSpace , Lunarpedia , Marspedia </li></ul><ul><li>Emulators: Virtual Apollo Guidance Computer </li></ul><ul><li>And more... </li></ul>
  4. 4. Hurdles to Adoption <ul><li>Limited Access to Space </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easier to get a computer than to get into orbit </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Export Controls </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many space applications fall under ITAR restrictions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal issues for Government Agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficult for civil servants to collaborate in FOSS projects </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Case Study: FlightLinux <ul><li>&quot;A customized copy of a standard Linux distribution, adapted to the unique environment of a spacecraft embedded control computer.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Contract with Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Started in 2000 and finished in 2002 </li></ul><ul><li>Project received many offers to help, but offers were declined </li></ul><ul><li>No source code was released from the project </li></ul>
  6. 6. Export Control Issues <ul><li>International Trafficking in Arms (ITAR) regulations apply to any satellite control software </li></ul><ul><li>Code would need approval by NASA, Department of Defense and State Department </li></ul><ul><li>Project restructured to separate unchanged public domain code from customized code to limit scope of review </li></ul><ul><li>FlightLinux never finished review, although other NASA software, such as Beowulf, has passed review </li></ul>
  7. 7. Dealing with Export Controls <ul><li>Didn't the FOSS community learn how to deal with ITAR during the Crypto Wars? </li></ul><ul><li>Encryption technology example is not relevant for space software </li></ul><ul><li>In late 1990s, US government lifted the restrictions on exporting strong encryption </li></ul><ul><li>The government today is not likely to lift restrictions on satellite control software </li></ul><ul><li>How can open source projects address this issue? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Current Status of FlightLinux <ul><li>&quot;The Open FlightLinux Project is an open source paragon that strives to provide sustainable technology through superior engineering, next-generation design concepts, and open standards.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>It’s not just for rocket scientists anymore... </li></ul><ul><li>Open FlightLinux can be used for a development platform, a server, an embedded real-time system, an appliance, a spacecraft, a cluster, even a desktop </li></ul><ul><li>Community now open to the public, so take a look </li></ul>
  9. 9. Case Study: NASA CosmosCode <ul><li>In 2004, the Open Source Institute approved the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Milestone in open source software release at NASA </li></ul><ul><li>AFAIK, first open source license designed to meet the needs of US government in general (cf. liability)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Over 50 projects released to date </li></ul><ul><li>But the real benefits of open source come from active development </li></ul>
  10. 10. Why open source development <ul><li>Leverage free and open source development process for projects that normally cost millions in development and testing </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage private industry to create products and services which leverage and extend NASA’s investments </li></ul><ul><li>Improve software quality, enhance functionality of existing products </li></ul><ul><li>Improve the effectiveness of collaborations with other NASA Centers, space agencies, universities, and contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Provide opportunities for broader involvement in the space program </li></ul><ul><li>Distribute NASA's public software to as wide an audience as possible. </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage adoption of common practices and open standards </li></ul>
  11. 11. Software Release at NASA Technical management Patent Counsel Export Control IT Security Software Release Authority
  12. 12. From release to development <ul><li>Release process doesn't translate well to active development and release of nightly snapshots </li></ul><ul><li>Even World Wind, NASA's planetary data browser software, does open source development unofficially, and on external servers </li></ul><ul><li>User agreements for sites like sourceforge require indemnification by submitter which is counter to NASA regulations </li></ul><ul><li>How do we legitimize open source development from a procedural and legal perspective? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Challenges ( legal/policy )‏ <ul><li>Bayh-Dole Act </li></ul><ul><li>Intellectual property of contractors </li></ul><ul><li>Definition of work completed </li></ul><ul><li>Fair and open competition </li></ul><ul><li>Contractual vehicles (Space Act, Cooperative Agreements)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Liability </li></ul><ul><li>Free labour </li></ul><ul><li>User-generated content on government sites </li></ul>
  14. 14. Challenges (cultural)‏ <ul><li>Responsibility (precedent)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness (you CAN release open source)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>“ Space isn't for everyone” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Space is a state secret” </li></ul><ul><li>The way things have always been done </li></ul><ul><li>Incentive structure (guilty until proven innocent)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is overworked </li></ul>
  15. 15. Moving forward <ul><li>Open Source Working Groups at NASA Ames </li></ul><ul><li>Clarifying and Documenting 4 open source development scenarios: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>=> Public Contributions to NOSA-released software projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>=> NASA contributions to non-NASA projects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>=> Soliciting bids for new contracts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>=> Starting new projects with existing personnel (existing contract)‏ </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Putting it Together: CosmosCode <ul><li>Free and open source software development site for the space community (Fall 2007)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Project Hosting (Trac)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SVN source code repository </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>wiki, tickets, timelines, mailing lists </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community Support (Drupal)‏ </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Documentation (software release tips, justifications for open source, ITAR advice, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Guides for open source project success </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>References – policies and laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Projects wish list and listing </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Thanks! + More Information <ul><li>CosmosCode </li></ul><ul><li>http://colab.arc.nasa.gov (info, mailing lists)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Ideas? Suggestions? Information? Collaborations? [email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>FlightLinux </li></ul><ul><li>Open FlightLinux project site , Original FlightLinux project site </li></ul><ul><li>FlightLinux Project Lessons Learned Report </li></ul><ul><li>FlightLinux Project Final Report , Interview with Pat Stakem </li></ul>

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