Slated for launch in 2022, the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission will carry a payload of 11 scientific instruments on an eight-year journey to Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system. Once there, the instruments, which include a camera, magnetometer, interferometer, altimeter, and spectrometer, will make detailed observations of Jupiter and three of its moons—Ganymede, Callisto, and Europa. The main goal of the mission is to gain insights into the conditions that support planet formation and the emergence of life.
Streams of data generated by the JUICE instruments will be stored in solid state mass memory (SSMM) before being transmitted to Earth. Data flows from the instruments to storage and downlink can be complex due to the variety of instruments used, the relative priority of the data collected, and limitations imposed by the transmission channels.
Engineers at Airbus Defence and Space use event-driven models created with Simulink® and SimEvents™ to simulate these data flows and assess onboard data latency, data storage capacity, and the effects of downlink error rates.
“Our decision to select MATLAB, Simulink, and SimEvents for the development of our simulation model was directly influenced by the robustness, scalability, and flexibility of these products,” says Alexandre Cortier, R&D engineer at Airbus Defence and Space. “Rapid prototyping of event-based systems with SimEvents enabled us to validate new operational concepts planned for JUICE well before the preliminary design review and to reduce risk in subsequent implementations of the system.”