Development of a modular command and data handling architecture for the KySat-2 CubeSat

Christopher Mitchell, Jason Rexroat, Samir A. Rawashdeh, James Lumpp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

10 Scopus citations


KySat-2 is a 1U CubeSat launched on the NASA ELaNa IV mission on November 19, 2013. The Command & Data Handling (C&DH) architecture for KySat-2 leverages aspects of the Space Plug-and Play Avionics (SPA) standard developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and adapts it to the constraints of the CubeSat form factor. The design eases interfacing commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) and legacy components in the satellite and also enhances software reusability, with motivation to decrease time-to-orbit and reduce system cost and complexity, while increasing reliability. The KySat-2 CubeSat C&DH architecture utilizes a central processor that carries out mission-specific functionality, command interpretation, and scheduling. Interface processors are dedicated to, and all processors communicate on a shared I2C bus. This distributed processing architecture provides a level of abstraction between the mission-specific functionality and the more general purpose features of satellite subsystems, enabling increased reuse of non-mission specific hardware and software. This paper describes the distributed architecture of the KySat-2 C&DH, as well as the advantages and challenges of the distributed approach.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference
StatePublished - 2014
Event2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky, MT, United States
Duration: Mar 1 2014Mar 8 2014

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Conference2014 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky, MT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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