BEXUS 2012

Communication and data visualization software

Introduction

BEXUS (Balloon Experiments for University Students) is special ballon project organized every year by the ESA (European Space Angeny). In 2012 I took part in the Hungarian experiment (TechDose) as a software designer. The goal of the Hungarian project was to measure radiation in the stratosphere (~30km) simultaneously with different equipments like Pille, PorTL, Solid State Nuclear Track Detector (SSNTD), Geiger-Müller counters, and the TriTel, which is a special silicon radiation detector developed by the Hungarian Centre for Energy Research.
The TriTel is a complex system, which has an embedded system with its own processor and onboard measuring and communication software. The software is able to send special data frames through serial communicaiton to an other software that implements the communication protocol.

Main goals

As part of the Hungarian team, my task was to design and implement the "ground software" and to achieve the following goals:

  • review the existing software which already implements some parts of the basic commnunication protocol
  • find bugs in the current implementation of the communication protocol, and extend it with new features
    • define new commnunication and data frames
    • communication control and feedback
  • design and implement the GUI (user interface)
    • data visualizer with filtering features
    • real-time data visualization
    • communication feedback with different scopes
  • implement a scientific evaluator component, which evaluates raw measurment data