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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Alan and Carmel Brain <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 16 Mar 2001 08:56:28 -0500
Stephen Leake <[log in to unmask]>
Stephen Leake <[log in to unmask]>
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The standard text here at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center is
"Spacecraft Attitude Determination and Control", ed by James Wertz,
1978, Kluwer Academic Publishers, ISBN 90-277-1204-2. It's getting
pretty dated for the details of the sensors and actuators, but the
basic physics is still the same.

At least you have the luxury of starting from scratch, and therefore
choosing the best language for the job. I have to cope with all the
old guard, who really want to think in terms of analog amplifiers
rather than software. Our "newest" idea is to use C++!

Good luck. Feel free to ask me for more help. Us Ada Attitude
Controllers have to stick together!

-- Stephen Leake, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Alan and Carmel Brain <[log in to unmask]> writes:

> It looks as if I might (stress might) be given the job of Software Team
> Leader
> for the Satellite Avionics of the FEDSAT project, Australia's first
> homegrown
>  Satellite in 30 years (Hurray for us!).
> Naturally it's being done on the proverbial shoestring.
> Is there anyone on this list with experience in the problem domain
> who can recommend some good, cheap books on the basic theory that
> I can use to teach the newbies on the project? It shouldn't strictly
> be neccessary, but I always like having everyone on the team to have
> a reasonable basic knowledge of the theory of what we're doing, just
> as an additional line of defence against stupid mistakes. So we know
> our Apogee from our Perigee, what an Attitude Control System does,
> how it works, how often (about) we should be triggering measurements
> etc. A Gut feel for things, in other words. Right within an order of
> magnitude.
> Thank God it's being done in Ada-95, so many errors normally found in
> Software ( exceeding table size etc) won't be in. But this has a
> downside: we can reasonably expect the software to do exactly
> what we intend it to do, and that means requirements bugs, like
> the ones that killed the Mars Lander and Ariane V's first mission,
> are likely to be terminal. So additional defences in this area are
> Doubleplusgood. I want the most junior intern who's never seen a
> satlleite before to be able to say "isn't that supposed to be in km
> not ft?" if the numbers don't look right by an order of magnitude or so.
> Even if - especially if - it's in an area they aren't concerned with.
> I believe in being original with my mistakes - not repeating errors
> others have made before.
> So... is there a "Satellites for Dummies" <g> out there?

-- Stephe