SpaceWire Data Handling Demonstration System

S. Mills, S. Parkes, N. O’Gribin
Conference/Journal Name: 
DASIA (Data Systems in Aerospace) 2007
Date Published: 
May 2007
ISSN of Journal/Conference Proceedings: 
1609 042X
ISBN of Journal Issue/Conference Proceedings: 
92 9291 202 8

The SpaceWire standard was published in 2003 with the aim of providing a standard for onboard communications, defining the physical and data link layers of an interconnection, in order to improve re usability, reliability and to reduce the cost of mission development. The many benefits which it provides mean that it has already been used in a number of missions, both in Europe and throughout the world. Recent work by the SpaceWire community has included the development of higher level protocols for SpaceWire, such as the Remote Memory Access Protocol (RMAP) which can be used for many purposes, including the configuration of SpaceWire devices.

Although SpaceWire has become very popular, the various ways in which it can be used are still being discovered, as are the most efficient ways to use it. At the same time, some in the space industry are not even aware of SpaceWire’s existence.

This paper describes the SpaceWire Data Handling Demonstration System that has been developed by the University of Dundee. This system simulates an onboard data handling network based on SpaceWire. It uses RMAP for all communication, and so demonstrates how SpaceWire and standardised higher level protocols can be used onboard a spacecraft. The system is not only a good advert for those who are unfamiliar with the benefits of SpaceWire, it is also a useful tool for those using SpaceWire to test ideas.