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The Forefront of Space Science

Standardizing and Digitizing Space Development
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Digitization is, in fact, modeling

I will now address the “standard method to express satellite profile information as data,” as I promised before. To put it simply, this means creating a model in order to express the information on satellites. Fig. 3 shows a simple case applicable to equipment installed on satellites. We can use such a table as the standard template applicable to any equipment on any satellite. The columns on the right are to be filled in with values for each item of equipment.

This simple table, however, is insufficient as a practical model. A more complex table is needed to express greater volumes of information including: topology information, showing how onboard systems are connected mechanically and electrically in satellites; time transition information, showing how the systems’ internal conditions change over time (responding to commands from the ground or event occurrences inside satellites); etc. Since it is difficult to discuss more complex models in the limited space of this article, please allow me to omit any further explanation here.

In the future, completely new satellite types must emerge. In order to avoid starting from zero to create a new model,development of a model to define future models would be of great help. Such a model to define models is called the meta-model. I am studying with researchers in the U.S.A and Europe to establish models and meta-models for space applications.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3 Example of Modeling for Onboard Equipment

Is FCB really possible?

I have explained the methods to realize FBC by standardization and digitization. Research on digitization for the space-development field began just two years ago, so its actual introduction to space development is likely to be a few years away. If it becomes practical, it will make some contributions to FBC. Research is currently in its initial phase, where ideas are important. I plan to advance the research focusing on ideas. Support for our research will be highly appreciated.

(Takahiro YAMADA)

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