SpaceWire Plug-and-Play: Fault-Tolerant Network Management for Arbitrary Network Topologies

Authors: 
Albert Ferrer-Florit, Martin Suess
Conference/Journal Name: 
International SpaceWire Conference Dundee 2007
Date Published: 
September 2007
Page References: 
pp.149-152
ISBN of Journal Issue/Conference Proceedings: 
978-0-9557196-0-8

The SpaceWire Plug-and-Play protocol (SpW PnP) aims to provide a set of common features for SpaceWire devices to facilitate recognition and configuration of SpaceWire networks. This paper presents a methodology for network discovery and configuration compatible with the SpW PnP protocol defined by the SpW PnP Working Group. It supports arbitrary network topology changes and provides fault tolerance features without requiring any manual configuration. Nodes and routers with identical hardware can be uniquely identified, and polling or active notification methods are used to register a new device in the network.

The proposed approach relies on the use of one or more intelligent nodes, called Network Node Managers, with the capability to independently configure any SpW PnP compliant device. Following suitable mechanisms to avoid race conditions, a network fully configured is only supervised by one Network Node Manager, with the others acting as hot backups.

Our methodology has been successfully prototyped with ordinary computers acting as network node managers, using RMAP protocol to emulate SpW PnP. Results proved that its use could be especially helpful for fast prototyping in the laboratory or in space manned missions.