An In-The-Loop Simulator for the Verification of Small Space Platforms
The paper presents an end-to-end simulator to support the engineering team in design and verification activity across the whole product life cycle. The simulator is devoted to the analysis of small space systems, which present specific features compared to large traditional platforms. Improving the understanding of the system early in the life cycle, and enhancing the verification process may help to increase the reliability and mission success of small-scale satellites while maintaining their key features of low cost and fast delivery. The simulator was designed through a Model and Simulation Based approach and it performs “in-the-loop simulations” for the verification of functional and operational requirements at component, subsystem, and system level. The simulator is characterized by a modular architecture to adapt to several missions and different system configurations, also outside the field of space engineering. The core of the tool is a multi-processor workstation that sets up and runs the simulation, making use of a database of models for the equipment and the mission environment, and a built-in interface unit to connect all the elements. The simulator has been successfully tested on a CubeSat project. Many test sessions were run and they are described in detail in this article.
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