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Satellite Stem Cells: The Benefits and Overheads of Reliable, Multicellular Architectures

Erlank, Alexander and Bridges, Christopher (2017) Satellite Stem Cells: The Benefits and Overheads of Reliable, Multicellular Architectures In: 2017 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 2017-03-04 - 2017-03-11, Montana, USA.

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While small, low-cost satellites continue to increase in capability and popularity, their reliability remains a problem. Traditional techniques for increasing system reliability are well known to satellite developers, however, their implementation on low-cost satellites is often limited due to intrinsic mass, volume and budgetary restrictions. Aiming for graceful degeneration, therefore, may be a more promising route. To this end, a stem-cell-inspired, multicellular architecture is being developed using commercial-off-the-shelf components. It aims to replace a significant portion of a typical satellite’s bus avionics with a set of initially identical cells. Analogous to biological cells, the artificial cells are able to differentiate during runtime to take on a variety of tasks thanks to a set of artificial proteins. Each cell reconfigures its own proteins within the context of a system-wide distributed task management strategy. In this way, essential tasks can be maintained, even as system cells fail. This paper focusses on two hardware implementations of the stem-cell inspired architecture. The first implementation, based on a single cell, serves as the Payload Interface Computer on a CubeSat named SME-SAT. The second hardware implementation is a benchtop system composed of several cells intended to demonstrate a complete multicellular system in operation. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of these multicellular architectures, the physical attributes of the hardware implementations are compared to those of more traditional implementations and are shown to have enhanced reliability at the cost of increased power and internal bus bandwidth.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Subjects : Surrey Space Centre
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering > Surrey Space Centre
Authors :
Date : 8 May 2017
DOI : 10.1109/AERO.2017.7943732
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Contributors :
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 13 Jan 2017 16:02
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 17:11

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