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MA at HENSOLDT Cyber - Satellite Payload Controller

Thesis at HENSOLDT Cyber in the area of future satellite payload controllers. Software development on a RISC-V controller based on the seL4 microkernel and the Genode OS framework.

In cooperation with HENSOLDT Cyber, the Chair for Operating Systems (TUM IN F13) is offering a MA thesis topic in the area of secure satellite payload controllers.

Area of research

More affordable space access opens up opportunities for easier deployment of complex space-based assets. Unlike current systems, where a single integrator spent all development effort and bore full responsibility for the fitness of the deployed software, future systems will comprise payloads developed independently by third parties. As the embedded software was not developed according to a strict - and thus expensive - development process, additional measures have to be taken to ensure the security and safety of the system.

HENSOLDT Cyber is building a trustworthy compute platform consisting of a RISC-V microprocessor and microkernel based operating system. In the course of the thesis, the student shall analyze if this platform can serve as a foundation for satellite payload controllers. Based on the findings of the analysis, a prototypical system shall be developed and tested in a satellite testbench.

Tasks

  •  Analysis of currently used software architectures regarding their viability if uncertified software shall be used
  • Definition of additional requirements for the base software system so that the use of uncertified software does not jeopardize the safety and security of the whole system
  • Design of a system based on seL4 and Genode so that the previously identified requirements are satisifed
  • Implemention of the designed system on a RISC-V processor
  • Evaluation of the solution in a testbench that models an environment representative of satellite use cases

Requirements

  • Understanding of the functioning of modern processors (privilege level, memory protection)
  • Understanding of modern OS architectures (operating system kernel, device driver)
  • Skills in C/C++ software development
  • Optional: Skills in seL4 and/or Genode OS framework

In case of interest please refer to Michael Peter (michael.peter@hensoldt-cyber.de).