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Proceedings Paper

A resilient and secure software platform and architecture for distributed spacecraft
Author(s): William R. Otte; Abhishek Dubey; Gabor Karsai
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Paper Abstract

A distributed spacecraft is a cluster of independent satellite modules flying in formation that communicate via ad-hoc wireless networks. This system in space is a cloud platform that facilitates sharing sensors and other computing and communication resources across multiple applications, potentially developed and maintained by different organizations. Effectively, such architecture can realize the functions of monolithic satellites at a reduced cost and with improved adaptivity and robustness. Openness of these architectures pose special challenges because the distributed software platform has to support applications from different security domains and organizations, and where information flows have to be carefully managed and compartmentalized. If the platform is used as a robust shared resource its management, configuration, and resilience becomes a challenge in itself. We have designed and prototyped a distributed software platform for such architectures. The core element of the platform is a new operating system whose services were designed to restrict access to the network and the file system, and to enforce resource management constraints for all non-privileged processes Mixed-criticality applications operating at different security labels are deployed and controlled by a privileged management process that is also pre-configuring all information flows. This paper describes the design and objective of this layer.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2014
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 9085, Sensors and Systems for Space Applications VII, 90850J (3 June 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2054055
Show Author Affiliations
William R. Otte, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Abhishek Dubey, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)
Gabor Karsai, Vanderbilt Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9085:
Sensors and Systems for Space Applications VII
Khanh D. Pham; Joseph L. Cox, Editor(s)

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