Plug and play technology for spacewire: drivers and alternatives

Peter Mendham, Steve Parkes, Stuart Mills, Christopher McClements

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    SpaceWire has proved very successful since the release of the standard by ECSS. This success Is due to the versatility of SpaceWire and its inherent simplicity and low implementation cost. Beyond the requirement for each packet to be lead by an address and terminated by an end-of-packet marker, SpaceWire does not specify the contents of each packet. The proposed SpaceWire Protocol Identification standard (currently In draft) provides a method for SpaceWire packets to carry higher-layer protocols. The Remote Memory Access Protocol (RMAP) has been proposed (also in draft), as has the possibility of a protocol to support plug-and-play on SpaceWire networks. This paper begins by discussing the driving requirements behind plug-and-play, specifically examining the potential benefits that a plug-and-play protocol could bring to SpaceWire systems. These benefits are further examined In practical scenarios, debating the relevance of plug-and-play features to space-based systems. The paper argues that the most important feature of a plug-and-play system for space-based SpaceWire networks Is that of network discovery. The next part of the paper examines network discovery In some detail, discussing the relative merits of different algorithms and key features of their Implementation. Prototype software, intended to demonstrate the network discovery process, Is presented along with results and analysis. A full implementation of plug and play poses certain challenges to existing SpaceWire hardware, such as the ESA standard router, which was developed by the University of Dundee. The paper examines what key plug-and-play features can be deployed over existing hardware, using the University of Dundee router as a case study.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 58th International Astronautical Congress 2007
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    Event58th International Astronautical Congress - Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, India
    Duration: 24 Sept 200728 Sept 2007


    Conference58th International Astronautical Congress
    Abbreviated titleIAC 2007
    Internet address


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