EMTech researches and develops innovative space technological solutions.

What we research

 

Research & Development

 
 

EMTech researches & develops innovative space technology.

Research and development activities are of utmost importance for EMTech. We dedicate more than 50% of our labor in research innovation of state-of-the-art space and ground segment software solutions.

Although in such cases starting TRL level is low, our major concern is to always adhere to space software engineering standards, even when aiming at proof-of-concept. Agile project management methodology, web-based collaboration tools, and virtual team working environment, allow our staff members to play key roles by also participating in R & D consortiums with other enterprises and academic & research institutes.

Principal research and development interests are related with spacecraft simulators. We try to address questions such as how to introduce parallelization and performance optimization in high complexity software arrangements, as well as how to achieve application- specific interfaces with external tools, other simulation engines and visualization frameworks, all being appropriately synchronized and harmonically interacting in custom co-simulation environments.

 
 

Multi-Magnetometer Methods for Magnetic Dipole Modelling

 
 

The MMM-MDM project

(ESA/ESTEC, September 2014 – Present)

Main objective of the project is the implementation of methods to use multiple magnetometers for measurements of the magnetic field from an Equipment Under Test (EUT). The measured magnetic field then has to be modelled by multiple equivalent magnetic dipoles. Such multiple dipole models will be later used to extrapolate the magnetic field at larger distances.

The EMTech consortium team shall provide results of the study and the trade-off of multi-magnetometer setups. The software development shall build on existing MCF-MAGNET software to allow use of multiple magnetometers as required for the identified optimal setups. As a proof-of concept, a prototype facility shall implement at least one optimal setup with complete instrumentation, data acquisition and software. The proper implementation shall be verified by known DC magnetic sources.

 
 

simBridge

visBridge financiers
 
 

simBridge

(November 2013 – December 2015)

European efforts are continuously carried for standardization (SMP2, Reference Architectures) as the re-usability of simulation models among different projects reduces the development cost and human effort. simBridge objective is to support creation of co-simulation environments, in which each application executes into its native environment, while it can simultaneously exploit the services of the simulation environment.

simBridge is an SMP2 meta-model, designed to provide a flexible and seamless interfacing for SMP2 simulation environments. It is configurable, scalable, and easy-to-use software that can interconnect any external application just by providing a language-specific library or toolbox to handle the message transfer for each such application.

Currently, simBridge binds the SIMSAT engine with external applications via a TCP connection and provides full-fledged services as: XML message interchange, parsing and evaluation, requests’ handling, synchronization and execution, and finally returning results to the origin. Through this innovative bridging the simulation and the external application work together and the latter can obtain or modify simulation variables’ state, send commands and schedule events for execution, or even exploit all the simulation services. Multiple external connections are supported at simulation run-time and due to simBridge technology, a great variety of external applications such as MATLAB, CELESTIA, Network Simulator 2/3, Web Services, and Python applications collaborate with SIMSAT to easily create a co-simulation environment.

simBridge concept figure
 
 

ESSE 
 (Enhancement of SIMSAT Simulation Engine)

 
 

C-PDES engine for the SIMSAT simulator.

(ESA/ESOC, December 2011 – July 2014)

The project involved design and development of a conservative Parallel Discrete Event Simulation (C-PDES) engine for the SIMSAT simulator, and a Performance Control and Optimization Framework (PCOF). The former is an innovative event scheduling engine to facilitate parallel execution of simulation’s models, including synchronization and communication techniques.

The PCOF is a well-defined framework, including several user-friendly performance probing tools, interfaced inside the SIMSAT simulators as plug-ins, as well as procedures and methodologies on how to approach performance control and optimization inside ESOC spacecraft operational simulators. The provided tools acquire several performance metrics, with respect to user defined actions, so as to correlate measurements and analyze performance. Several functionalities, such as visualized graphs of the function calls and models’ event interactions, help the performance investigator to promptly retrieve hidden poor implementation parts, as well as other software modules able to be executed in parallel. Both C-PDES and PCOF were introduced in the GAIA operational simulator, in order to demonstrate a proof-of-concept of the operation in real space missions.

Last but not least, the ESSE project involved another direction, dealing with enhancement of SIMSAT kernel with a Dataflow scheduler, able to run simultaneously to the PDES, so as to provide designers with an alternative way of realizing simulation systems. For instance, the Radio Frequency and Control System, as well as some Payload processing seem to be better realized as models interfaced in a Dataflow configuration. Our approach, now, gives this possibility, by introducing this co-simulation option, which is anticipated as valuable for future missions.

Experience in: Parallel Discrete Event Simulation, Dataflow Simulation, Performance Optimization, SMP2, Spacecraft Operational Simulators, Model Driven Architectures, SIMSAT, SIMULUS, EGOS-MF/UMF, Linux, SLES-11, O-Profile, Graphviz, C++, UML, JavaScript, XML, multi-threading and multi-processing, CORBA, ECSS-E-40, ECSS-Q-80

Project Final Presentation

 
 

LMCPTS 
 (Linux and Multi-core Processor Technology for Simulators)

 
 

Multi-core processor space simulation project.

(ESA/ESOC, September 2009 - December 2011)

The main objective of this project was the development of the required prerequisites for a high performance simulator that can run efficiently on multi-core processor technology. This included technological advancements in algorithm development for a scheduler which can use modern multi-core CPUs effectively, as well as achievement of higher levels of performance and parallelism by improved model construction and annotation.

Within the area of multi-core support, one important objective was to allow events that take place in parallel on real spacecrafts, to also run in parallel within the operational simulators. Such a change in the way the models are developed should increase the accurate representation of the models.

A further project objective was the development of an operational simulator, the PerfSim (Performance Simulator), based on the ECSS-E-ST-40C standard. PerfSim is a benchmarking test tool developed according to the Reference Architecture (REFA) and related Test Assemblies and functions as a validation of the suitability of this architecture from a performance viewpoint. The primary target of PerfSim was to provide a high configurable load, which is close to a generic spacecraft, but represents a nearby computational load for the SIMSAT environment.

Last but not least, the project included an optimization phase targeting to the possible parallelization of the operational simulator subsystems. Additionally, the profiling of the overall SIMULUS infrastructure drives to specific performance optimization modification proposals.

Experience in: Parallel Discrete Event Simulation, Dataflow Simulation, Performance Optimization, SMP2, Spacecraft Operational Simulators, Model Driven Architectures, SIMSAT, SIMULUS, EGOS-MF/UMF, Linux, SLES-11, O-Profile, Graphviz, C++, UML, JavaScript, XML, multi-threading and multi-processing, CORBA, ECSS-E-40, ECSS-Q-80

Project Final Presentation