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Fabrication Responsibility:
Lyle Johnson, WA7GXD (USA)
Chuck Green, N0ADI (USA)
Peter Gülzow, DB2OS (Germany)


The Smartnodes are based on Controller Area Network (CAN) Local Area Network (LAN) technology and was designed by DB2OS. It provides a means of distributing various analog and digital sensors and controls throughout the spacecraft. In the context of P3D, they will be used for experiments and systems that are not considered essential to the safety and health of the spacecraft. The primary experiment that will depend on them is the CEDEX (Cosmic Energy Detector Experiment) being built by Craig Underwood at SSTL.


A SmartNode is an independent controller for the CAN bus. The CAN bus is a local network between various modules, especially RUDAK, GPS and the SCOPE cameras. The maximum speed is 800 KBit/s. The CAN bus comes from the automobile field. Now it is used for the first time in a satellite because it offers a good tolerance against physical errors.

With the help of Peter, the computers of RUDAK, GPS, SCOPE and IHU were equipped with a CAN bus interface. The SmartNode controller is a computer based on a 68HC11 CPU, which is available for various other modules. It is used for simple telemetry and control purposes, for example if additional temperature data is needed. (It can also be used for data transfer)

The CEDEX experiment will additionally have such a controller, because its bus interface was built to suit the UoSATs - otherwise it can not be addressed from the P3D.

If there is enough time, Peter will build two simple CCD cameras, which should observe the deployment of the solar arrays.

Last updated: Feb 5, 1996
by Ralf Zimmermann, DL1FDT