Bright Ascension Ltd.

Bright Ascension

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Use our space software platform for your academic project to get the most value from your CubeSat mission. 

Scroll down to learn how we can help boost your CubeSat development.

Peter Mendham


Peter is a software and hardware engineer with eighteen years of space industry experience. In 2011 Peter founded Bright Ascension to offer an innovative approach to space software and to address an expanding market need for alternative software solutions.

Alex Mason

Senior Software Engineer

Alex is a software engineer with over 10 years commercial experience in the space industry. Alex has been contributing to  Bright Ascension’s innovative products and projects since 2015.


We offer innovative and unique off-the-shelf space software products for the delivery of space-based services, both on spacecraft and on the ground. Our customers range from established multi-national companies to aspiring start-ups, and we offer a robust academic programme and support. 

Our innovative modular approach will help you to significantly speed up your CubeSat mission development within the tight schedule of your project, simplify and automate operations, and ensure you keep your costs at a fixed low level. Easily adaptable to the exact requirements of your unique CubeSat, our pre-verified software components have been tried and tested in flight with over a dozen satellites currently in orbit.  


mission development

Flight Software Development Kit

Flight Software Development Kit (FSDK) is an innovative development environment, which allows you to create a unique mission-specific flight software package through our extensive library of pre-validated components. 

why choose FSDK?

  • Rapid development: our component-based approach allows you to significantly reduce development time and have your software package available early on in the project for testing and integration
  • Reduced risk: FSDK components come pre-validated, many with flight heritage, significantly reducing the risk of failure
  • Unique missions: use pre-existing components to cover basic flight functionality and supplement them with custom ones, specific to your unique mission
  • Portability: FSDK makes it easy and straightforward to add support for new onboard computers, operating systems and architectures
  • Facilitate teamwork: well-structured FSDK architecture allows separate teams to focus on well-defined and self-contained software blocks to contribute to the flight software package development
  • Ease of use & support: simplicity and ease of use, coupled with a full year of support and maintenance, including training to get you started, mean there is no requirement for specialist skills
  • Scalability: as your space system grows, FSDK allows to quickly and easily adapt your flight software package.  

how flight software works

Most spacecraft perform similar tasks:

  • Data acquisition
  • Monitoring
  • Logging
  • FDIR
  • TM/TC
  • Scheduled/automated actions

Yet, every mission is different:

  • Payload interfacing and management
  • Telemetry handling
  • Communications protocols
  • Part of a larger mission architecture with distinct concept of operations

FSDK component library covers most flight software functionality and allows you to focus on the unique parts of your mission, reducing development time, cost and risk.

FSDK in practice

Create your unique flight software package

Make your software quick, cheap and reliable, and put “intelligence” into tooling rather than framework.

Use supporting tools for code generation and limit the complexity of your flight software, making it easier to validate. Click here to learn more.

example components

Subsystem Components:

for many commercial off-the-shelf products such as electronic power systems, attitude control systems and radios, inlcluding AAC Clyde Space, GOMspace, ISIS, Pumpkin, Xiphos and more

Communications components:

monitoring, control and reporting to and from ground or other systems using a variety of standard protocols, including CCSDS TM/TC, ECSS PUS, CFDP, CSP, more to come

Data handling and monitoring components:

gathering, pooling, logging and reporting telemetry parameters, as well as checks on parameters to validate correct system operations

Automation Components:

automation of onboard activities and scheduling onboard operations

Mission Components:

mode management, deployment sequencing, orbit counting

platforms and subsystems

FSDK supports a wide, and growing, range of hardware and software platforms.

Onboard computers (OBC) platforms currently supported include:

  • AAC Clyde Space OBC and Sirius OBC
  • CubeSpace CubeComputer
  • GomSpace Nanomind A3200 and Z7000
  • Texas Instruments MSP430-based platforms
  • Vorago RH-01 VA10820-based Radiation Hard OBC
  • Xiphos Q7 and Q8
  • BeagleBone Black OBC
  • Many other Linux-based OBCs incl. Raspberry Pi

The novel approach to platform abstraction permits support for operating systems to be treated separately from the underlying computer platform.

Operating systems and environments currently supported:

  • Linux
  • FreeRTOS
  • Bare metal environment using the built-in cooperative multi-tasking capabilities of the framework.

mission operation

Mission Control Software

Our cutting-edge Mission Control Software allows you to focus on mission goals rather than how they should be achieved, leading to more efficient and scalable operations. Fully integrated, it includes extensive automation for unattended operations. 

The MCS product provides an easy-to-use interface for monitoring, control and automation of onboard changes during development and flight:

  • Spacecraft monitoring and control
  • Telemetry visualisation and archiving
  • Telemetry monitoring with alarms and condition notification
  • Automated pass management including downlink/uplink handling
  • Extensibility though scripting and scheduling
  • Under active development with more features coming

integrated solution

Based on the same model-based technology, FSDK and MCS offer an integrated combination of flight and ground software, enabling seamless communication between the two products. Model-based approach provides a machine-readable description of the architecture of the system, which is understandable by both the space side and the ground side. It is used across the lifecycle of the system from early development to end of operations. 

This technological approach means that, for those using both of our products, there is little or no configuration or ongoing maintenance to be done for spacecraft operations.

licensing and support

We offer different license types across all our major products to address different market segments, from large organisations or those offering services within the industry to small and medium-size commercial organisations and institutions.

We also support academic licenses for universities, schools and early-stage start-ups. Talk to our team to find our more about our licensing plans.

Each licence includes a full year of support and maintenance including training to get you started.

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