Microservices Architecture for Embedded Space Systems Solutions

Microservices Architecture for Embedded Space Systems

Space travel has been one of humankind’s most long standing (and expensive) fascinations. The fact that we’d already made it to the moon over half a century ago says volumes about the amount of resources that had been poured into the venture at the time. But space travel has evolved by leaps and bounds in the years since 1962, led by advances in the computer hardware and software domain.
As things currently stand, microservices and Distributed Systems are closely tied to the future of space travel. Let’s take a look at why.

What are embedded systems and why do they make sense for space travel?

An embedded system is a microprocessor-based hardware implementation that sees to a very specific task, either independently or as part of a larger system. The reason embedded systems make sense for space travel applications in terms of hardware, is the same reason microservices make sense from a software perspective – failure protection. Think about it. A spacecraft and its onboard computer hardware have to contend with the harsh environment of space. There’s high, fluctuating radiation and extreme temperatures, the chances of a single-event upset are very high.
If something goes wrong, the last thing you want is for a single hardware failure to cripple the entire craft’s critical functions. And if an onboard program runs into an error, the last thing you want is for that error to be passed on to your other systems, effectively resulting in a cascade failure for all your onboard computers. A modular approach is vital, both in the buildup to a space flight, and during the course of it.
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Where microservices come in

One of the ‘communications’ mechanisms being tested are microservices that allow for communication between the multiple modules that will make up the colony. The objective aim is to create a fault-tolerant system of autonomous or near-autonomous parts that is able to maintain its integrity even while working with scarce resources. This leaves few options aside from microservices. How appropriate is it that the dream to land astronauts on the moon now depends upon the Cloud?
This presents us with a unique problem. Microservices are a solution that most effectively tackle problems relating to scalability and load balancing. They do not lend themselves to cloud security or compliance quite the same way, and both are critical when it comes to a multi-billion dollar space program.
This has led to a reimagining of conventional microservices architecture. It would be too costly in terms of performance to implement security measures at a layer above the microservices, and thus security must be implemented at the most granular level. This leads to the overhaul of DevOps in favor of DevSecOps, which ensures security considerations are taken into account during the system design process. Coupled with the secure cloud access and compliance assurance offered by Amazon’s GovCloud, DevSecOps helps outfit microservices to handle space age problems when your run-of-the-mill microservices architecture just can’t seem to cut it anymore.
GovCloud’s greatest strength in assuaging security risks has to do with the service’s intended clientele. The service is only available to American citizens, only accessible on American soil, and completely isolated from the rest of Amazon’s plethora of cloud based services. What’s more, it’s compliant with the regulation standards of just about every department of government, making it the only cloud services solution that can effectively be used to host cloud services that are intended for government use.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Microservice is the breaking up of traditionally tightly coupled application components into small specialized services that communicate through HTTPS REST and HTTPS API interfaces.
Since Microservices are small specialized services, they can be quickly and efficiently rearranged to accommodate future capabilities unknown at the present time.
Microservices are independent and modular which allows for significant flexibility in communications patterns and often prevent cascading failure.
DevOps is the combination of development and operations into a single function of software development and infrastructure management. The main priority of DevOps is the reduction of barriers to speed of delivery.
DevSecOps empowers everyone in the development process using a security focused tool set to address timely security decisions at speed and scale of each development stage. The main priority of DevSecOps is risk reduction through DevOps security accountability and governance.
Security automation in DevSecOps increases speed of code releases while reducing the risk using static application security testing (SAST), dynamic application security testing (DAST), and code dependency checking.
High business value is realized from quick and efficient response to market opportunities and challenges, optimization for innovation, and reduction of technical debt all lead to superior competitive advantage.
CCT is pleased to discuss your requirements and present a proposal for your review and consideration. Call us today at 1-800-804-9726 x105.

The Race back to the Moon

A microcontroller lacks the processing capability to implement computer vision-oriented tasks such as real-time error handling and adaptation. They are also naïve to the rest of the system, and can’t account for errors occurring in the rest of the system. There is therefore a need for oversight; that much is clear, but oversight requires fail-proof communication from the site of failure. You can only fix something if you’re aware something is wrong in the first place.
This brings us to the state of the space race today, with NASA’s next frontier being to return astronauts to the moon for the first time since 1972. Artemis, the successor to the infamous Apollo program, is already underway. The first flight by Artemis I is unmanned and set to take place this year, and will be the first of at least four planned missions set to happen over the next five years. Artemis I is essentially a test run for communications and equipment, and is a precursor to Artemis II, which will be a manned flight to the moon and back. Eventually, NASA hopes to form the foundations of a lunar colony through the Artemis project, taking components and shuttles into space and constructing a miniature space station on the moon.

Why Cloud Computing Technologies is the best subcontractor for the Microservices Architecture for Embedded Space Systems

We at CCT have years of experience engineering, designing, and deploying cloud based solutions and functionality suites. But cloud technologies are a burgeoning field, and that’s a claim many could make. What sets us apart for this endeavor is the fact that we are a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) firm, and that means we’re given added consideration when in the running for any government contract.

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If you think your business has a part to play in the upcoming race back to the moon, let us help you get your foot in the door. Government contracts are fiercely contested, and partnering with an SDVOSB might be just the edge you need to put you a cut above the competition. Reach out to us here contact and we will assist with microservices architecture for embedded space systems.