Propulsive Reaction Control System Model

This software models a propulsive reaction control system (RCS) for guidance, navigation, and control simulation purposes. The model includes the drive electronics, the electromechanical valve dynamics, the combustion dynamics, and thrust. This innovation follows the Mars Science Laboratory entry reaction control system design, and has been created to meet the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) entry, descent, and landing simulation needs. It has been built to be plug-and-play on multiple MSL testbeds [analysis, Monte Carlo, flight software development, hardware-in-the-loop, and ATLO (assembly, test and launch operations) testbeds].

This RCS model is a C language program. It contains two main functions: the RCS electronics model function that models the RCS FPGA (field-programmable-gate-array) processing and commanding of the RCS valve, and the RCS dynamic model function that models the valve and combustion dynamics. In addition, this software provides support functions to initialize the model states, set parameters, access model telemetry, and access calculated thruster forces.

This work was done by Paul Brugarolas, Linh H. Phan, Frederick Serricchio, and Alejandro M. San Martin of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-46978

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