I am trying to find the information about the operating systems that are run in all of the Chandrayaan - 2 vehicles, the orbiter, lander and Rover. Are these just firmwares? Or how are different processes controlled? (Talking from the systems software side)

Also, it seemed that there was a communication problem. As far as I gather from the internet and some papers published, the connection from the Rover is made through Indian Deep Space Network (IDSN). It is done by the Rover connecting to the Lander and then Lander connecting to the Orbiter, and finally to India. But there is very little information about the software side of the network communication. How does the network stack look like?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Great question. And welcome to space! $\endgroup$ – William R. Ebenezer Sep 7 at 17:13
  • $\begingroup$ Awesome question, can anyone please suggest kind of universal framework too which is always used as a base code for such operations? For example, I believe that all space probe or orbiter who are going to last should be reprogrammable so there must be a common stack or implementation for that. The same with the auto sleep-re-wake cycle for all systems. $\endgroup$ – Talk is Cheap Show me Code Sep 9 at 5:35

For the embedded software, likely Ada

An ISRO scientist working out of the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences group gave some insight that his part of ISRO mostly works with FORTRAN, MATLAB and Python - but that ISRO doesn't really have a standard language for its projects. It's a big agency with a lot of facilities involved in many different projects.

Separately a ISRO software engineer during a Reddit AMA gave some more insight into the kind of systems they work with (though probably for classification reasons the details are sparse). Unsurprisingly, the satellites are programmed with Ada. I don't think it's a stretch to imagine every other embedded system in this mission was programmed with Ada as well. Ada is a good choice for mission critical systems where failure is expensive or dangerous.

I was able to find out that the landing sequence was autonomous, once it reached close proximity to its intended landing location, and that this algorithm is one of the engineering marvels developed natively for this project.

As for the IDSN,

We know some details at least of the physical layer of this network. The heart of this system is an impressive 32m antenna operating in X and S band, with a 20kW amplifier. An auxiliary German produced 18m antenna compliments it. This is a world class system able to discriminate weak signals even at 400,000k.

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Ada? Wow, the 80s called, they want their wonder language back. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 9 at 12:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Keep in mind the processing power of those systems is limited. Ada is very hard to break, it's also seen a few patches since the 80's. Boeing's 777 fly-by-wire system runs on it. $\endgroup$ – Adam Coville Sep 9 at 12:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was a software engineer in the aerospace industry during the Ada Mandate. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Sep 9 at 12:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You're way ahead of me then. I just compiled a hello world with GNAT this afternoon $\endgroup$ – Adam Coville Sep 9 at 12:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ We do use Ada, but mostly it is just because of a good compiler. We are only and only worried about assembly and produced binary. It is just a bare board program without any operating system. $\endgroup$ – Prakhar Sep 10 at 6:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.