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ITSC is undertaking a phased implementation of the EVE prototype over the course of a 3-year research effort. The first year of research is focused on defining and verifying a solid software architecture for on-board processing. Research and analysis will determine an efficient software component architecture, with a focus on the interfaces between components, and will establish the best methodology for constructing the components on a given hardware architecture. A basic processing framework will be developed and initial processing operations implemented.

EVE components diagram

Like ADaM, EVE consists of software modules that provide specific functionality operating on a common structure, as the figure to the right illustrates. However, EVE’s modules are intended to be smaller and more specialized in nature due to the restricted environment involved.The prototype software architecture will be designed specifically so that a substantial library of processing components will be available for easy reconfigurability. This will be accomplished by developing processing components through the use of common building-block interfaces. The team expects current efforts in defining a standard Earth Science Markup Language will make this task significantly easier.

EVE testbed diagram

Early in the second year, the EVE prototype software will be ported to the real-time embedded system environment of the testbed for validation of the overall software design, as the figure illustrates. Collaborations with Earth Science colleagues will guide the development of additionalprocessing modules to support an on-board processing science scenario. Following the paradigm established by the ADaM mining plans, a processing plan syntax will be developed for configuring EVE’s processing modules. This capability will support on-orbit reconfiguration of the processing flow in a mature system. Interfaces between the remote sensing instruments and on-board processing software will also be defined during this period and implemented in the testbed sensor models.

During the third research year, data input components will be developed, based on the instrument interfaces defined in Year 2. Software development will also continue with the implementation of additional processing modules and the refinement of the overall system architecture. Mid-way through Year 3, a demonstration of the prototype with the full-scale science processing scenario and appropriate data sets is planned. The final six months of research will focus on thorough testing of the prototype in the testbed with reasonably realistic supporting elements, conforming to target environment and interfaces. Collaboration with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and others in development of an on-board processing scenario for the Conically-Scanning Two-look Airborne Radiometer (C-STAR) or Advanced Microwave Precipitation Radiometer (AMPR) instruments could lead to a possible flight of opportunity aboard a UAV.

Throughout the research period, ITSC will maintain awareness of emerging data and software standards. ITSC will also explore issues in multiple execution paths and run-time configuration of the software. Although these features are desirable in a mature on-board processing system, they are not required for an initial flight. Therefore, full implementation of such features is outside the scope of this research, but will be considered in the overall architecture design.



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For more information contact Steve Tanner:
Information Technology and Systems Center
University of Alabama in Huntsville
Huntsville, Alabama 35899
(256) 824-5143

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