Common Bus Interface Adapter Chip

Period of Performance: 07/25/2012 - 04/24/2013


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Design_net Engineering LLC
16080 Table Mountain Parkway Array
Golden, CO 80403
Principal Investigator


ABSTRACT: A key problem in the rapid and lower cost development of spacecraft is that the various devices that comprise the spacecraft bus do not typically provide a single standard interface and/or communications protocols. This forces a design-to-order paradigm in which a spacecraft bus is developed on a per-mission basis with little reuse of existing software. Efforts such as SPA have defined an interface standard and a message protocol for hardware and software components so that rapid configuration and integration is possible. However, until device vendors adopt standards such as SPA, each device must have an interface adapter that translates between the native protocols and standard protocols. To date for SPA, that adapter has been an ASIM. While serving an important role in the early development of SPA, ASIMs are inefficient in their design due to the lack of an appropriate COTS device to fulfill the needs of this domain. They add significant power requirements, weight, cost and software development effort to a project. Design Net Engineering has developed a solution to the standard interface problem, enabling component manufacturers to create SPA-compliant devices rapidly with significantly lower power usage, mass, cost and effort than the existing alternatives BENEFIT: Space Plug & Play Avionics (SPA) has been designed to enable rapid, lower code development of spacecraft. Adoption of SPA by the wider industry to reach a critical mass of available components is vital to its success. The development effort, hardware cost, power usage and mass of existing SPA interface solutions have served as deterrents to wider adoption to date. Design Net Engineering s solution provides a cheaper, low effort, low power and low mass solution to the problem thus enabling and encouraging component manufacturers to provide SPA compliance to their hardware with minimal impediments. This will enable wider adoption of SPA as a standard and allow the full benefits of using SPA to be realized, resulting in faster development and lower cost spacecraft for NASA, DoD and commercial spacecraft providers.