AIAA/USU SmallSat

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  • Accepted for full presentation
  • Paper due June 11, 2007

Title: Open Source Software for Small Satellites

Abstract

The open source approach to software development has radically changed the way in which many software applications have been created and improved over time. This paper examines both the current state and the potential future directions for free and open source software in the space realm, with a particular emphasis towards developers of small satellites. The significant benefits of open source software for small satellites are described, including how it can increase reliability, decrease cost, and increase flexibility as compared to closed source software or software developed exclusively in-house. Software currently under development by the open source space software community is examined, including software released under the NASA Open Source Agreement (NOSA). The potential for increasing the openness of small satellite flight software is described and discussion is included regarding how members of the small satellite community can contribute to such activities.