Advanced Configurable

Open-SYSTEM Research Network

The Next-Generation of Satellite Development

Advanced Configurable Open-system Research Network



OAI’s Advanced Configurable Open-system Research Network (ACORN) development environment is 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

Contact us to schedule an ACORN Demonstration

LIVE DEMO: Global Collaborative Space System Development



Your Choice for Satellite Development

A modular, scalable end-to-end mission test-bed that enables detailed design, development, and test capabilities for any satellite mission, ACORN allows for you to integrate/simulate actual/software-defined subsystems and components to begin developing and planning your mission with real hardware.

ACORN is for:

  • Component Manufacturers
  • Spacecraft Integrators
  • Space Agencies and Government
  • Colleges & Universities
  • Payload Developers
  • Space-enabled Data Analytics

ACORN Benefits:

  • Rapid integration of subsystems/components
  • Flight software development and integration
  • Supports distributed design and development teams
  • Up to 27-32% life-cycle cost savings
  • Increase mission reliability, reduce risk
  • Supports processor-in-the-loop and hardware-in-the-loop analysis and integration
  • Faster than real-time sim capabilities
  • Benchmark Evaluation Software Suite
  • Hardware/software agnostic
  • Scalable to support full end-to-end mission


RS-422, I2C, MIL-STD-1553b, UART, SPI, SDIO, GPIO, Ethernet, Serial, etc.

  • Out-of-the-box flight scenarios
  • Selection of pre-programmed generic subsystem and component models
  • Flight software development/integration tools
  • API for user customization, component integration, and custom models
  • Benchmarking tools and test metrics
  • Spacecraft health and status, backplane, and ephemeris data logging
  • Multiple physical interfaces supported



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