Matti Ukkola is 21 years old and studying electrical engineering in the 6th semester at TUM. He’s been part of the software team and has been leading it for the past one-and-a-half years and this is already his second feature story.
What exactly is the software team doing and what is DOSIS?
DOSIS is the platform on which we are developing our syste. It is a bit misleading since the team that was originally working on it was called DOSIS as well. The software team that we have now originated from the DOSIS team and was renamed during the reorganization. However, unlike DOSIS that was just responsible for the software on the satellite itself we’re handling every line code that is being used. In the satellite and on the ground station.
What were you biggest challenges recently?
Our biggest challenge is the communication between the satellite and the ground station. It consists of two things. We receive passive beacons from the satellite which hold telemetry data such as satellite rotation, temperature, memory capacity, etc. That is the first thing that needs to work. The other part is the commanding of the satellite to, for example, adjust its position or expand its solar panels. A big topic this year is the balloon launch in June. A lot of planning and testing has been done lately and we’re still working on some implementations.
For further reading on DOSIS, you can check out our newly published paper here.
The Power Week is the phase in the semester holidays, where we can concentrate on problems and assignments that have accumulated over the past time. It is especially valuable since all the different departments get together to, for example, test new software and hardware.
Before we can release or actually implement some code into our system there are multiple steps that we have to take to ensure it is working correctly. A merge request - the task for another person to look over the changes - is usually pending for around 2 weeks before it is done, and that is just one part of the whole process. Since a lot of people are involved, it takes a lot of time.
That’s why this phase around the semester holidays is so important. We use this time to do only MOVE-related tasks and thus are way faster than normal. We don't have to wait for people if they are not available or studying for an exam. The things that would normally take a few weeks are done in no time comparatively.