2014.B.1.3 A Space Hypervisor for CubeSATS


Andrew Santangelo (1)

  1. sci_Zone, USA




QuickSAT, Hypervisor, ARM15, CubeSAT, SHARC


The QuickSAT/Xen Space Hypervisor, is an open source space hypervisor that supports the virtualization of satellite payloads, systems and software modules on a range of satellites including CubeSATs and MicroSATs. A hypervisor allows for virtual processes and payloads to run on one or more processors simultaneously. Virtual processes and payloads can communicate between one another and operate independently of one another. The advantage of a hypervisor is that if one of the processes “crashes”, experiences SEUs, or experiences malicious code attacks, it will not impact the performance and operation of the other processes. The Xen Space Hypervisor is an extended version of the open source Xen that includes elements of the ARINC 653 partitioning standard, isolating applications running on the same platform providing high levels of security. QuickSAT™ with the open source stepSATdb data architecture is a satellite design, mission planning, and product lifecycle management framework and environment. It is currently in use on the University NanoSat Program, at AFRL, the Eagle program, projects with NASA research centers. Its first application in an actual space mission will be in the late fall of the 2013 on the SHARC Mission, a 6U cube sat that will be deployed from the International Space Station. In this paper we will discuss QuickSAT and the QuickSAT/Xen environment and implementation on the ARM based Architectures, and its application on the SHARC Mission including lessons learned. We will also discuss the open source distribution of the Xen Space Hypervisior and how organizations can get involved and apply it to their mission.


  • Download slides in PDF format here (14MB)


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