European Space Agency

OpenSatCom - Applying Open Source Development Methodologies to Satcom Systems

Objectives

OpenSatCom analyses the relevance of open-source development methodology models in the satellite communication industry. Open-source development methodologies have been proven successful and impactful on the wider ICT industry.

In order to assess the applicability of various Open Source models in SATCOM as applied to other industries we have identified seven most common open source development models. Analysis is performed on the applicability if these open source models in SATCOM with extensive details of the inner workings and examples of real-life projects inside SATCOM and other industries and their applicability to different SATCOM domains.

In the context of OpenSatCom, relevant open-source projects and their characteristics are identified and analysed. 

Challenges

Our analysis indicated four possible challenges on the OpenSatCom project:

  1. Inactivity of specific open source projects identified
  2. Incompatibility of open source business or development models for specific parts of the SATCOM industry
  3. Lack of incentive for existing open source projects to engage with the OpenSatCom activity
  4. Lack of expertise to create new open source avenues on identified gaps of the SATCOM stack

Benefits

Emerging info, analysing and classifying an open source ecosystem, thriving with re-usability modularity and synergy opportunities, provides and excellent base for an agile framework around this activity.

LSF and inno3 are committed on implementing a fast-paced approach to this project based on proven agile frameworks (kanban and scrum where seen fit) instead of implementing a typical “waterfall” approach on all working packages and sub-activities.

Features

All working packages and sub-activities will are managed using open-source and publicly documented project management tools (like Gitlab) to ensure visibility for all participating stakeholders. In addition to this open and documented approach, regular stand-up and update meeting are held for all working packages and sub-activities to ensure cross-project collaborations where seen fit and tracking of accountability for all owners.

System Architecture

Key part of OpenSatCom is the performance of analysis and assessment of the applicability of open source in SATCOM.

Seven key open source development models have been identified and analysed:

  •  Business to Business open-source
  • Controlled Ecosyste
  • Common Upstream
  • Ethically open-source
  • Open Hardware – Design Focus
  • Opportunistic open-source
  • Mass Market open-source

Analysis of applicability of such models in SATCOM domains is performed:

  • Small Satellite manufacturing industry
  • Small Satellite testing and integration industry
  • Ground Segment Vending industry
  • User Segment technologies
  • System Engineering Software Tools
  • Mission Design and Analysis
  • Downstream applications of SATCOM
  • Launch services industry

79 existing open-source projects have been identified as relevant to the SATCOM industry and the following attributes have been identified

  • name
  • description
  • category
  • license
  • specificity
  • type
  • link
  • format
  • type of maintaining entitiy

Drawing conclusions from this analysis several sub-activities on existing and future open-source projects are proposed to fill gaps identified on the open-source SATCOM ecosystem in agreement with stakeholders of the project.

Plan

Assessment of applicability of open source in SATCOM and reach-out to existing teams. Creation of a list of existing open-source projects in SATCOM industry

Elaboration of implementation plan. Refinement and elaboration of a detailed implementation plan while coordinating agreement among stakeholders.

Implementation Plan execution. Compilation of a data package containing all documentation produced, Organization of OSCW 2019. Creation of online OpenSatCom community and performance of proposed sub-activities.

Conclusion and future work. Compilation of a status document for all activities of the previous work package. Compilatio of a roadmap for future relevant work and recommendations.

Current status

The project is currently underway with MS1 achieved.

Status date

Tuesday, February 2, 2021 - 10:12