4Links Launches SpaceWire Satellite Development Systems at UK Space 2015
Once again, 4Links exhibited at the UK Space 2015 conference from 13th-15th July 2015, held this time in Liverpool. The conference attendance was considerably higher than in previous years, and the exhibition was very busy.
The centrepiece of the 4Links stand was a rack containing examples of a new modular SpaceWire development and simulation system.
The 4Links SpaceWire Satellite Development System (SSDS) concept allows the SpaceWire data-handling network for a complete spacecraft to be constructed from off-the-shelf modules, providing a platform for software development early in a spacecraft mission. Later, these modules can be substituted by engineering module components and eventually by flight devices.
For designers of individual instruments, just one or two SSDS modules can be housed in a small enclosure and used for hardware prototyping and testing of SpaceWire communications on one or two links.
The SSDS units were demonstrated running the proposed ESA N-MaSS Fault Detection, Isolation and Recovery (FDIR) protocols. Two nominal and redundant pairs of simple instruments were driven by LEON-based processors through a redundant network of SpaceWire routing switches. It was then possible to unplug up to seven SpaceWire cables, or disable several routers and instruments, whilst observing the remaining instruments continuing to operate normally.
In total, the 4Links exhibit contained 120 SpaceWire ports, which is far larger than the number used on most of the world's current spacecraft.