The control software is a central component of every space system. It records the actual state of the technical system and determines a control activity which brings the system into a nominal state according to a control objective. The software must fulfill security, robustness and real-time requirements. For space applications these requirements tend to be particularly demanding.
The DLR Institute for Software Technology entered this subject area with the development of the attitude control software of the DLR satellite BIRD. In several current projects the institute develops control software in close collaboration with the experts for the spacecraft subsystems. In these projects the Institute for Software Technologyis responsible for the derivation of the precise functional and temporal requirements for the control software from the system requirements, the definition of robust software architectures and the coding.
In all its projects the DLR Institute for Software Technology applies modern software development methods, such as object-oriented modeling in UML (Unified Modelling Language), MDA methods (Model-driven Architecture) and automatic code generation. Consequent configuration management and the enforcement of systematic testing are basic requirements for a successful quality management, for example following the rules of the European ECSS standards.