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ObjectiveThe objective of ARPKSIM was to develop facities for Rendez-vous and Docking prototype software verification, including actual hardware in the loop for GPS and Rendez-Vous and Guidance sensors. Two verification facilities were realised, one with the Rendez-vous and Guidance System (RVGS) computer connected as real hardware-in-the-loop through the MIL1553 bus, and a facility for the verification of the Guidance and Navigation algorithms using the Global Positioning System (GPS).
ContextThe ARPKSIM project was a precursor mission for the Automated Transfer Vehicle(ATV) program to verify in an early stage the On-board software for endez-vous and Docking of the ATV spacecraft to the International Space Station in a realistic environment. Airbus Defence and Space Netherlands participated, integrating the models and hardware into a hard realtime test facility. The knowledge gained would later-on be reused in the ATV programme itself.
ATV is a spacecraft that is launched by Ariane V, and docks in an automated manner to the international space station ISS. Its purpose is to refuel the ISS station, to reboost it (increase its altitude), to deliver a payload, and to take away the waste from the station. The first ATV, the Jules Verne performed a successful mission on April 3rd, 2008. Several more ATV missions to the International Space Station are planned.
Role of EuroSimIn both RVGS and GPS simulators, all relevant subsystems were simulated. In the RVGS verification facility, the RVGS computer system was executing as hardware in the loop via its Mil1553 bus connection, and in the other facility the GPS sensor and stimuli equipment were executed as hardware in the loop. The simulators were built with EuroSim Mk 2, and executing on a Silicon Graphics O200 computer.