RELIABLE & COMPACT AVIONICS
The avionics has the greatest impact on the actual operating cost and reliability of the launch vehicle.
Distributed throughout the launcher, the avionics subsystem performs various functions throughout the mission and determines major phase changes.
The key to good avionics design is striking an appropriate balance between system complexity and reliability, as well as performance, considering the mission.
Today, many launch vehicle companies purchase turn-key hardware for their avionics from various third-party suppliers.
While this can reduce development time and cost, it can increase the system mass and degrades mission flexibility and reliability.
Furthermore, the presence of unnecessary functionality and the operator’s lack of full understanding of the system can often lead to unexpected behaviors that cause a mission failure.
At Perigee, most of the core components that go into the launch vehicle are designed and produced in-house.
This includes engine controllers, flight controllers, power management boards, batteries, harnesses, cryogenic cameras for observing the inside of the tanks, capacitance sensors for determining propellant levels, and much more.
Maximum simplicity is another important design philosophy for Perigee avionics.
In most cases, boards with different functions are often merged into a single PCB so that only a few types of microcontrollers oversee the entire mission.
This enhances the level of integration between the launcher and the avionics subsystems and allows all the required functionality to be implemented within the simplest design possible.
The motto, "as simple as possible", also applies to the software design.
To minimize all possible exceptions, every function is performed by a simple monolithic firmware that sequentially processes the defined modes.
In addition, emergency loops at various levels exist to detect all known emergency cases from the previous test data and automatically judge and stop the flight preparation if necessary.
For a fault-tolerant design, an appropriate level of redundancy that does not increase the system’s complexity is applied to the BW1 avionics.
Most flight critical parts feature redundant designs.
In addition, rigorous environmental tests and in-flight verification has been made to identify and resolve possible failure modes, increasing the overall reliability even further.
Finally, to increase the consistency and reliability of the mission configuration file, HILT (Hardware-in-the-loop test) is performed before each flight with all the subsystems and sensors combined.