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SPA Hardware and Software Systems

About PnP Innovations

     PnP Innovations provides the hardware components and software modules to enable users to rapidly develop modular Plug and Play (PnP) satellites. Our modular PnP is based upon research and standards originated by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The Space Plug and Play Avionics (SPA) Standards have evolved from workshops led by AFRL, and have included representatives from industry, academia and government.
     A modular based approach to designing and building satellites offers a considerable cost and assembly time advantage, when compared to traditional satellite architectures. This modular approach to designing and building satellites is a key technology to rapidly deployable tactical satellites.


     In 2006, the AFRL Space Vehicles (RV) Directorate began a research program under the Responsive Space Technology effort to apply the SPA standards to a spacecraft with the goals of both maturing the standards and assessing their applicability (and limitations) for rapid spacecraft development. The Plug and Play Satellite (PnPSat) Program has been a major success demonstrating the viability of the modular PnP architecture. PnP Innovations personal were at the forefront of the hardware and software components on PnPSat.

SPA Catalog

     The SPA Catalog provides the software, hardware, and test components. Included within the catalog are individual PnP satellite sensor components (such as reaction wheels, torque rods, magnetometers, etc), as well as the PnP Panels, which contain embedded power and data routers, and mounting positions for PnP sensors and processors. Tying those components together is the modular software components and activity agents to make it all work. With catalog items, engineers are able to perform the following functions:
  • Laboratory research and experimentation with PnP systems
  • Convert legacy hardware to a SPA compliant architecture
  • Develop and test SPA compliant hardware and applications
  • Develop full featured spacecraft with space qualified components

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