Tech Briefs

The flight software (FSW) math library is a collection of reusable math components that provides typical math utilities required by spacecraft flight software. These utilities are intended to increase flight software quality reusability and maintainability by providing a set of consistent, well-documented, and tested math utilities. This library only has dependencies on ANSI C, so it is easily ported.

Prior to this library, each mission typically created its own math utilities using ideas/code from previous missions. Part of the reason for this is that math libraries can be written with different strategies in areas like error handling, parameters orders, naming conventions, etc. Changing the utilities for each mission introduces risks and costs. The obvious risks and costs are that the utilities must be coded and revalidated. The hidden risks and costs arise in miscommunication between engineers. These utilities must be understood by both the flight software engineers and other subsystem engineers (primarily guidance navigation and control).

The FSW math library is part of a larger goal to produce a library of reusable Guidance Navigation and Control (GN&C) FSW components. A GN&C FSW library cannot be created unless a standardized math basis is created. This library solves the standardization problem by defining a common feature set and establishing policies for the library’s design. This allows the libraries to be maintained with the same strategy used in its initial development, which supports a library of reusable GN&C FSW components.

The FSW math library is written for an embedded software environment in C. This places restrictions on the language features that can be used by the library. Another advantage of the FSW math library is that it can be used in the FSW as well as other environments like the GN&C analyst’s simulators. This helps communication between the teams because they can use the same utilities with the same feature set and syntax.

This work was done by David McComas of Goddard Space Flight Center. GSC-16102-1

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Flight Software Math Library (reference GSC-16102-1) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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