Getting hands-on experience in the mission control center during a space exploration experiment might put a student ahead of the competition. But what if you are the student who created the mission control software being used to monitor the entire experiment?
To win a competitive slot on the United Kingdom’s first flight of a small spacecraft, students at United Kingdom’s Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS) used NI LabVIEW and ANSI C to write Open Mission Control Software. They created a sophisticated framework that is advanced enough for any national space agency spacecraft, yet is flexible and easy to use. LabVIEW Run-Time Engine lets users easily add system enhancements and the open source platform extends functionality for any type of space exploration. Even those with limited experience can create sophisticated mission control software.
Whether the need is to monitor data for spacecraft experiments or command software for a real spacecraft, the Open Mission Control system expands the capabilities of small spacecraft control. The platform can be adapted quickly and easily to support a variety of spacecraft including CubeSats, myPocketQubs, and NanoLab experiments.
As part of their mission to promote space exploration and development through educational and engineering projects, UKSEDS distributed their Open Mission Control application to thousands of schools and universities so other students could further their own developments. This not only encourages schools and universities to take part in the OpenSpace365 initiative, but it challenges them to continue pushing the boundaries of space exploration even further.