Hardware in the loop and software in the loop testing of the MOVE-II CubeSat
Reina Kiperman, Gonzalo Julián
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"This article reports the ongoing work on an environment for hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) and software-in-the-loop (SIL) tests of CubeSats and the benefits gained from using such an environment for low-cost satellite development. The satellite tested for these reported efforts was the MOVE-II CubeSat, developed at the Technical University of Munich since April 2015. The HIL environment has supported the development and verification of MOVE-II’s flight software and continues to aid the MOVE-II mission after its launch on 3 December 2018. The HIL environment allows the satellite to interact with a simulated space environment in real-time during on-ground tests. Simulated models are used to replace the satellite’s sensors and actuators, providing the interaction between the satellite and the HIL simulation. This approach allows for high hardware coverage and requires relatively low development effort and equipment cost compared to other simulation approaches. One key distinction from other simulation environments is the inclusion of the electrical domain of the satellite, which enables accurate power budget verification. The presented results include the verification of MOVE-II’s attitude determination and control algorithms, the verification of the power budget, and the training of the operator team with realistic simulated failures prior to launch. This report additionally presents how the simulation environment was used to analyze issues detected after launch and to verify the performance of new software developed to address the in-flight anomalies prior to software deployment."