Software for Space

Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering organized an expert lecture on “Software for Space” on February 20th, 2023. The resource person for the lecture was Shri P. J. Bhat, Distinguished Scientist (Retired) from Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

The lecture started with an overview of the increasing presence of software-based systems in all domains, including space systems such as satellites and rockets. The speaker highlighted that many hardware-based sub-systems are being replaced by software-based systems, particularly on account of the need to manage large fleets of space assets, autonomous operations for interplanetary missions, flexibility in onboard operations, miniaturization, and reduction in launch cost.

Shri P. J. Bhat further emphasized that space software has very high requirements for quality and reliability, particularly in the areas of critical, safety critical, and mission critical software. Space software must operate without defects, particularly for special purposes like autonomous operation of spacecraft. The speaker also noted that software failures have been responsible for some space disasters in history.

The talk provided insight into various sub-domains of space software, including the software life cycle approach, verification and validation practices based on software engineering standards, project milestone reviews, and software development and delivery best practices. The speaker also explained ISRO’s software engineering approach to achieving ‘defect-free software’.

The lecture concluded with an interactive Q&A session, where the attendees raised various questions related to the topic. The talk was well-received by the audience, comprising faculty members and students from all the branches.