Formal Approach for the Verification of Onboard Autonomous Functions in Observation Satellites


We propose a new approach for modelling the functional behaviour of an Earth observation satellite. We leverage this approach in order to develop a safety critical software, a “telecommand verifier”, that is in charge of checking onboard whether a sequence of instructions is safe for execution. This new service is needed in order to add more autonomy to satellites. To do so, we propose a new Domain Specific Modelling Language and the toolchain required for integration into an embedded software. This framework is based on the composition of deterministic finite state machines with safety conditions, timeouts, and transitions that accept durations as a parameter. It is able to generate code in the synchronous programming language Lustre from a high-level specification of the satellite. This gives a formal way to derive an event-based algorithm simulating the execution of telecommand sequence and, thereupon, a provably correct onboard verifier.

In ERTSS 202010th International Congress and Exhibition on Embedded Real-Time Software and Systems