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A Complete Survey: On Board Computers Microcontroller Selection for ICUBE II Cubesat

Zammad Ahmad
Department Communication System Engineering Institute of Space Technology Islamabad, Pakistan

M. Rehan, K. Khurram
Department Communication System Engineering Institute of Space Technology Islamabad, Pakistan rehan_59@hotmail.com, Khurram133@yahoo.com

AbstractThe development of satellites is an expensive process. The advent of the Nano-satellite concept however has made it affordable for different universities to start their own satellite projects. To enhance the students knowledge of space and satellite, Institute of space technology (IST) is also developing a nano-satellite cubesat (1U) named ICUBE. The On-Board Computer (OBC) of the satellite is the main subsystem responsible for data storing and communication between different subsystems. Because of its importance the responsibility increases on the OBC team to do extensive survey for microcontroller selection. To improve the probability of success it is sometimes preferred to use more reliable micro-controllers and components for satellites. For this purpose, space qualified components are used to increase reliability but they cost more. One way could be to choose components that have been used in space before thus increasing the chances of success. In this paper, we have listed down, compared and analyzed the microcontrollers that were used earlier in space for CUBESAT missions. Since our ultimate goal is the design and development of onboard computer for ICUBE-II, so at the end we have selected a microcontroller that meets our requirement specifications.

we have tried to improve its functionalities and introduced telemetry and memory management. Limitation of 10 cm3 volume of cubesat has imposed a limitation on size of OBC. This paper discusses the selection of Micro controller for the On-Board computer for the small satellite of ICUBE II program. This paper discusses the brief functional behavior of OBC that how it communicates with other subsystem and its memory management. The design constraints and requirements that leads to methodology and detailed survey for micro controller selection. II. FUNCTIONAL ARCHITECTURE OF ON BOARD COMPUTER

Keywords-On Board Computer (OBC); Microcontroller; Nanosatellite ICUBE;

I.

INTRODUCTION

ICUBE II is the second satellite of ICUBE series by Institute of Space Technology, Pakistan. This is the first satellite development program executed at university level in Pakistan. This project is mainly for educational purpose, so both faculty and students are involved in the research and development phases. The progress in technology has provided the opportunity to use small, low cost, efficient and powerful components in satellites, which gave rise to the development of Micro, Nano and Pico-satellites. The standard interface for launch vehicle demands Cubesat weighing less than 1.33 kg and has a volume of 10 cm3. Like any large spacecraft, the small satellites have several different subsystems for different tasks. On-Board Computer is a very important subsystem of any spacecraft and is the core for on-board data processing so;

Cubesat is a combination of many subsystems like Attitude Determination and Control Subsystem, Power Subsystem, Communication Subsystem and Onboard Computer. Onboard Computer is the controlling body that acts as a bridge for all other subsystems. Different interfaces like Inter-Integrated Circuit (I2C), Control Area Network (CAN), Synchronous Serial Communication (SSC) and Asynchronous Serial Communication (ASC) can be used for communication between different subsystems. Our architecture is using only I2C interface in order to communicate with other subsystems. [1] The block diagram of architecture is shown in Fig .1. The internal architecture of OBC contains Microcontroller, memory chips, Error Detection and Correction module and Sensors. The size of memory to be interfaced with controller, decides the number of address lines needed in microcontroller. The interfaces on which sensors communicate with controller should be present in selected microcontroller. [3] The internal architecture of OBC is shown in Fig. 2. The responsibilities of OBC are to take care of ON-OFF timing of subsystems during launch, data management and power down control. As our group is dealing with hardware design of OBC only, so our interest is with interfaces and memory management.

It should have low power consumption. ow Maximum size of OBC printed circuit board must not exceed 6x6 cm cm. Design should be flexible. [7] lexible.

Figure 1. Functional Architecture of OBC f

C. Space Environment Constraints The environment in which space instruments operate is extremely different form earth environment Some prominent environment. conditions are low pressure, high temperature, high radiations, electromagnetic conditions that a system has to face. As our satellite is low earth orbit satellite of orbit height of 660 km, t these constraints give birth to the adverse effects like out gassing, high voltage breakdown, cold welding phenomena etc. The components selection for space projects therefore, is a costly process, as the components must be tested for the space environments. These tests involve thermal out gassing tests, therm radiation tests, shock and vibration tests, etc. The better alternative is to use components that are already used in space missions. This saves both cost and time for component th selection. [2] These constraints help us to define the requirements or specifications which lead to better selection criteria criteria. D. Required Specification The specifications required in our Microcontroller are: Low Power Consuming. Operating Temperature Range of -40 to 80. ange Availability of I2C hardware bus Interface Interface. Built in Boot Loader. Ability to address external RAM and ROM ROM. RTOS Support. A/D Convertor. C or ADA compiler. Radiation resistant. Microcontroller should be reliable reliable.

Figure 2. Internal Architecture of On-Board Computer Board

III.

SURVEY OF MICROCONTROLLER SELECTION

A. Methodology The methodology for the suitable selection of microcontroller depends on design constraints of OBC, space OBC constraints and requirements of OBC. Two criteria were used wo to select the best microcontroller. A first criterion was to select a microcontroller with required specifications from a list of controllers that are previously used in space. Second criterion reviously was to analyze different microcontrollers on the basis of weights given to different characteristics & specifications. For example low power consumption was given 5 points according to its importance and operating temperature was given a weight of 3. Finally the microcontroller that had our required specifications and had the highest weight was selected. [4] Design constraints and requirements have a clear impact on selection of micro controller. Following section describe some constraints and requirements of OBC of ICUBE ICUBE-II. B. Design Constraints Design constraints for a nano-satellite are defined in llite cubesat standards by California Polytechnic State University University. That include: It must occupy less space. It must be suitable for space environment. able It must be able to operate properly in space ust temperature.

E. Memory Management Memory is the necessary requirement for the OBC as each subsystem requires shared memory to store important information. A memory budget is defined that shows the emory required memory for different purposes. All the memories to be interfaced are parallel memories so; the selected nterfaced microcontroller should access large external memory. Another important requirement for microcontroller is to have memory management unit (MMU). List of all the microcontrollers that were used in space missions is shown in the TABLE I. The second part of the survey is the weight criteria in which different features of microcontroller are given weights crocontroller according their importance. Explanation of few features is given below:

1) Power Consumption: The limited power of 1watt is available for OBC subsystem. So microcontroller should consume less power. This feature has given a top weight of 5. 2) Temperature Range: As we know that the temperature of satellite varies within wide range. The temperature is very low when satellite is in eclipse and very hot when it faces the sun. Because of this reason we set the wide range of 40C to 85C. So, we gave it the weight of 3. 3) Watchdog timer: Watchdog timer is an essential requirement. If onboard computer hangs or freezes at a certain point, then it should reboot. In this case, the presence of watchdog timer is very important. Watchdog timer has been alloted with 5 points. 4) I2C interface: I2C interface is necessary as its the external interface in our architecture. I2C interface has given weight of 5 points. 5) Real time operating system: RTOS is the requirement for our project. So RTOS has given weight of 7. 6) I/O pins: We need more general purpose I/O because we access microcontroller by these pins thats why I/O pins has weight of 2. [4]

TABLE III.

IMPORTANT FEATURES OF WINNER MICROCONTROLLER

FEATURES
Instruction set No. Of I/O Pins Operating Temperature Serial bus interfaces External access Interrupt A/D Convertor Power Management

DESCRIPTION
16 Bit 76 general purpose I/O pins 65C to 150C ASC0 and SSC (UART,SPI,I2C) 16 MB 8 channel interrupt 4 channel 10 bit Idle and Power Down Modes with Flexible Power Management

V.

CONCLUSION

Detailed survey with two criteria ensures better selection of controller. We have discussed the constraints that restrict our requirements and required features that we want in our controller. All the microcontrollers included in survey have space history. Selected microcontroller C161PI was used in Aalborg Universitys cubesat. [5] This survey helped us make a better and easy selection of Microcontroller of OBC for Cubesat mission. [6] REFERENCES
[1] B. Sheela Rani, R. R. Santhosh, Leni Sam Prabhu, Michael Federick, Vipin Kumar, & Sai Santhosh. A Survey to Select Microcontroller for Sathyabama Satellites On Board Computer Subsystem. Sathyabama University, Jeppiaar Nagar, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Chennai, India. A.M. Cruise,& J.A. Bowles. Principles of Space Design. School of Physics and Space Research, University of Brimingham. T. B. Clausen, A. Hedegaard, K. B. Rausmussen, R. L. Olsen, J. Lundkvist,& P. E. Nielsen. Designing On Board Computer and Payload for the AAU Cubesat. Aalborg University, Fredrik Bajers, Denmark. J. Solvhoj, M. Breiting,& M. Br. Thomsen. Onboard Computer for Pico Satellite. Technical University of Denmark, Denmark, January 2002. Home Sweet Home!. (2009). Michael's List of Cubesat Satellite Retrieved from Missions. http://mtech.dk/thomsen/space/cubesat.php AAU Cubesat. (2008). Aalborg Universitys Student Satellite. Retrieved from http://www.cubesat.auc.dk/ Cube Sat Design Specification. (2009). California Polytechnic State University.

Few other features of microcontroller were also included in the survey, like A/D convertors, Internal RAM, Internal Rom, Boot loader, clock speed etc. We give high weights to our required features. Weight criteria are shown in TABLE II. IV. SELECTED MICROCONTROLLER

[2] [3]

After analyzing the two criteria, C161PI & TC1775 shows that they are the most suitable microcontrollers. As they have all the required specifications and have highest weights as well. We have selected Infineons C161PI for our board which had all the specifications required for our project. The C161PI is a derivative of the Infineon C166 Family of 16-bit singlechip CMOS microcontrollers. It combines high CPU performance (up to 8 million instructions per second) with high peripheral functionality and enhanced IO-capabilities. The C161PI derivative is especially suited for cost sensitive applications. The few important features of our winner microcontroller are given in TABLE III.

[4]

[5]

[6] [7]

TABLE I. FEATURES OF MICRO-CONTROLLERS INCLUDED IN SURVEY

General Specifications Micro Controller Power Consumption Data Bus Clock Speed No, of Interrupts RAM size

Memory ROM size ROM type Supply Current Power Dissipation

Interfaces and Ports Serial Interfaces Serial Port Channel No. of I/O ports I2C

Converters A/D Converter No. of A/D Converter Operating Temperature Watchdo g Timer Power Saving Modes External Memory External Memory Space RTOS Bootloader

MSP430 at91m40800 AT91M40807 C161PI c167CS H83334V MCF5206e MMC2001 PIC16C77 PIC16F877 PIC18LF6720 StrongARM TC1775 ut69rh051

0.99 mW 4mW/MHz 4mW/MHz 500mW 180mW 400mW 80mW 20mW 20mW 300mW 300mW -

16 32 32 16 16 32 16 8 8 32 -

32k 25M 16M 54M 32k 20M 20M 25M 33 k 40M 2-20 M

1 8 8 16 16 3 32 12 14 17 -

256 B 8 kB 8 kB 3 kB 11 kB 12 kB 32 kB 368 B 368 x 8 B 24 kB 72 kB 256 B

4 kB 128 kB 256 kB 8K x 14 256 x 8 B 1024 B 96/128 kB & 128/256 KB 256B & 4kB 4-KB 256 KB 128KB 2KB

EPROM EPROM EEPROM EEPROM ROM Mask EEPROM EEPROM Flash EEPROM

-10-10 mA -10-10 mA 25 mA -10-10 mA -

1.5W 1.5W 1.8mW

USART USART UART,SPI,I2C ASC,SSC, CAN UART UART SPI,I2C,USART USART,SSP MSSP,USART UART,USB, SDLC, IrDA,CODEC SSC,UART CAN -

2 2 2 4 2 2 3 2 3 5 2 -

14 32 32 76 111 2 33 5 7 28 13 32

NiL NiL NiL Yes NiL Yes NiL NiL Yes Yes Yes NiL Yes NiL

4 Ch 24 Ch 8 Ch Multi 12 Ch 16 Ch -

1 1 1 1 1 2 1 A/D a D/A 2-A/D 2

40C to 85C 40C to 85C 40C to 85C 65C to 150C 40C to 85C 40C to 85C 0C-70C 40C to 125C -55C to +125C. -55C to +125C. 40C to 125C 40C to 85C 40C to 125C

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes

Yes No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Yes

No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No No No Yes Yes Yes

64 MB 64 MB 8 MB 16 MB 8 MB 2 MB 64 KB

Salvo Quadros Quadros CMX-RTX CMX-RTX USBMULTILINKB DM SafeRTOS Slavo Slavo Slavo KADAK's AMX OSE Epsilon CMX-RTX

Yes Yes Yes NIL Yes NiL Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes NiL

V850, NEC

50mW

16

33M

8 KB

CSI ,UART

67

NiL

8 Ch

No

Yes

No

embOS

Yes

AT90S4433 MC68HC812 A4 PIC24HJ256G P610 MC68HC912 DT128A

10.2mW 150mW -

8 16 16 16

8 MHz 8M 32MHz 0.5 -16 M

18

128 B 1 kB 16 kB 8 KB

25 mA

UART SCI UART, SPI, I2C, ECAN UART,SPI,2C,C AN

20 16

NiL NiL Yes Yes

6 Ch 8 Ch 32 Ch 8 Ch

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Yes Yes Yes Yes

No Yes No Yes

5 MB 5 MB

csRTOS ICE-12 Salvo

Yes Yes Yes Yes

Note: Characteristics that were not available in the datasheet are shown with a -.

TABLE II. WEIGHTING CRITERIA FOR MICRO-CONTROLLER SELECTION

General Specifications Micro Controller Power Consumption

Memory Supply Current Power Dissipation

Interfaces and Ports Serial Port Channel No. of I/O ports I2C

Converters Operating Temperature Watchdog Timer Power Saving Modes External Memory External Memory Space RTOS Bootloader Total

Data Bus

Clock Speed

No, of Interrupts

RAM size

ROM size

ROM type

UART

A/D Converter

No. of A/D Converters

Weight

81

MSP430 at91m40800 AT91M40807 C161PI c167CS H83334V MCF5206e MMC2001 PIC16C77 PIC16F877 PIC18LF6720 StrongARM TC1775 ut69rh051 V850, NEC AT90S4433 MC68HC812A4 PIC24HJ256GP610 MC68HC912DT128A

5 4 4 1.78 1 2 1 3 4 4 1.78 1 1.78 1.78 3 1.78 2 1.78 1.78

2 3 3 2 2 1.5 3 2 1 1 1.5 1.5 2 1.5 2 1.5 2 2 2

1 1.42 1.42 2 2 1.42 2 1 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 1.42 2 2 2

1 2 2 2 2 0 1 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2

1 2 2 2 2 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 2 1 2 1 2 2 2

1 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 2

2 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 2 2 2

0.42 0.42 0.42 2 2 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 1 0.42 0.42 2 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 0.42 1

0.21 0.21 0.21 1 1 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 2 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21 0.21

0 5 5 5 0 0 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 0 5 5 5 5 5

0 1 1 1 2 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 0 2 0 0 0 0

1 2 2 2 2 0 0 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 0 0 0 0

0 0 0 7 0 7 0 0 7 0 7 0 7 0 0 0 0 7 7

0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 2 2 2 0 2 0 2 2 2 2 2

0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 1 0 0 2 2

3 3 3 3 3 0 3 3 3 3 3 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

5 5 5 5 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 0 5 5 5 5

5 0 0 5 5 0 5 0 5 0 0 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

0 5 5 5 5 0 5 0 0 0 0 5 5 5 0 0 5 0 5

0 5 5 5 4 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 5 4 0 0 5 0 5

7 7 7 7 7 0 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 0 7

7 7 0 0 7 0 7 0 7 7 7 7 7 0 7 7 7 7 7

41.6 53.5 50.0 60.8 55 0 52.6 31.6 54.6 50.2 47.9 44.2 64.9 39.7 49.6 44.3 56.6 48.4 67.9

Note: Weights in decimal fraction are known as "star points. These are the characteristics that are always present in Microcontroller but were not given in datasheet. To calculate the weight an average of rest of microcontrollers weight was taken.