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PikeOS powers Satellite Payload in Space Mission ANGELS

SYSGO's PikeOS, a hypervisor-based real-time operating system (RTOS), has been chosen for the onboard software of the ANGELS project, a European initiative to develop extremely compact satellites. The first prototype was launched at the end of 2020 and proved to be fully operational.

ANGELS stands for Argos NEO Generic Economic Light Satellites, with Argos being the only global satellite-based system for location and data collection designed specifically to study and protect the planet’s environment. ANGELS is a nano satellite demonstrator program with the objective to develop satellites with a 12U form-factor and weighs between 10 and 50 kg. The development of the miniaturized satellite and instrument follows the European New Space approach, comprising miniaturized commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) components and an efficient way of designing, developing and testing. Development of the payload, the Argos instrument Argos NEO, is carried out by Thales Alenia Space (TAS), who chose the space-grade PikeOS real-time operating system and hypervisor as the technical basis.

This RTOS is the foundation for time and space separated applications, called partitions, enabling mixed criticality environments in which no single application can interfere with another except where specifically configured that way. These partitions fulfil, among other tasks, command and control operations as well as decoding beacons in ANGELS. Here, PikeOS supports different applications which are category B and D qualified based on the European Cooperation for Space Standardization (ECSS) standard. Thanks to its separation kernel architecture, partitions can also be updated without impacting the others already in operation. This allows ANGELS to add or optimize functions, and to improve its security robustness over time.

"We are very pleased to be part of this project which in this way will also contribute to protect our natural resources," said Franz Walkembach, VP Marketing & Alliances at SYSGO. "Being proven in a multitude of avionics projects, PikeOS now goes a step further into space with ANGELS."

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