Advanced Configurable Open-system Research Network
OAI’s Advanced Configurable Open-system Research Network (ACORN) development environment as a foundational capability to support spacecraft design, integration, test, and operations for a variety of missions and integration efforts. ACORN provides a scalable and expandable, rapidly reconfigurable, closed-loop, end-to-end space system modeling and simulation environment, that implements a Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA); which provides open, standardized interfaces for segments, subsystems and components—enabling rapid reconfiguration of the system.
ACORN enables complete life-cycle detailed design, development and test capabilities (Mission Concept Review through Operations) utilizing flight software, components (simulated and/or hardware), and full dynamic simulation, enhancing system capabilities and mission assurance. Test and evaluation at a component, subsystem, and/or spacecraft level using ACORN improves timeliness and thoroughness of test and evaluation outcomes.
The ACORN architecture is hardware and software-agnostic, such that it can accept any type of component, software and/or hardware, providing both software and hardware-in-the-loop (HWIL) capability. This allows for cost-effective early proof of concept of the system design via benchmarking and Design Reference Missions (DRMs), as well as risk identification, mitigation and buy-down plans, all utilizing proven systems engineering processes. Ultimately this results in an overall reduction of system life-cycle costs, allowing accelerated system development capability while increasing the mission assurance of small satellites utilizing COTS components and systems.
The ACORN philosophy enables quick and cost-effective test products necessary for single-vehicle and constellation systems, that support our customers and teammates. The key system attributes of ACORN include:
- Modular, Open-System Architecture (MOSA) design environment
- Rapid reconfiguration and execution of test plans and procedures
- Reconfigurable segments and interfaces
- Modular harness/cable layouts
- Multiple microprocessor/avionics configurations
- Dynamic high fidelity component simulations and/or real hardware interface capabilities
The ACORN system allows for integration of components, subsystems, and systems in a physics-based, high accuracy, end-to-end test environment. Key performance parameters of ACORN include:
- Spacecraft control with network bandwidth considerations
- Component/subsystem functional and performance assessment in networked system
- Ability to run real-time flight software environment on target processors
- Metrics associated with cost/schedule