OWLS as platform technology in OPTOS satellite

J. Rivas Abalo, J. Martínez Oter, I. Arruego Rodríguez, A. Martín-Ortega Rico, J. R. de Mingo Martín, J. J. Jiménez Martín, B. Martín Vodopivec, S. Rodríguez Bustabad, H. Guerrero Padrón. 2017. OWLS as platform technology in OPTOS satellite. CEAS Space Journal 9, 4, 543-554 DOI: 10.1007/s12567-017-0178-0

The aim of this work is to show the Optical Wireless Link to intraSpacecraft Communications (OWLS) technology as a platform technology for space missions, and more specifically its use within the On-Board Communication system of OPTOS satellite. OWLS technology was proposed by Instituto Nacional de T,cnica Aeroespacial (INTA) at the end of the 1990s and developed along 10 years through a number of ground demonstrations, technological developments and in-orbit experiments. Its main benefits are: mass reduction, flexibility, and simplification of the Assembly, Integration and Tests phases. The final step was to go from an experimental technology to a platform one. This step was carried out in the OPTOS satellite, which makes use of optical wireless links in a distributed network based on an OLWS implementation of the CAN bus. OPTOS is the first fully wireless satellite. It is based on the triple configuration (3U) of the popular Cubesat standard, and was completely built at INTA. It was conceived to procure a fast development, low cost, and yet reliable platform to the Spanish scientific community, acting as a test bed for space born science and technology. OPTOS presents a distributed OBDH architecture in which all satellite’s subsystems and payloads incorporate a small Distributed On-Board Computer (OBC) Terminal (DOT). All DOTs (7 in total) communicate between them by means of the OWLS-CAN that enables full data sharing capabilities. This collaboration allows them to perform all tasks that would normally be carried out by a centralized On-Board Computer.

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