Did you know that Pumpkin also develops and sells a unique RTOS that is targeted for MCUs with small memory footprints? All of Pumpkin Space's microcontroller-based modules utilize a Microchip PIC24E MCU, with Salvo as the foundational RTOS. In these applications, Salvo enables event-driven, priority-based tasks to run on the MCU in a highly decoupled manner.
Pumpkin is not the only Salvo RTOS user -- today we received an email from a company whose products you are likely to see when visiting a large world-wide fast food chain:
Salvo is still great, in no uncertain terms, for our application on dsPIC it's been a God-send. We build 40,000 dsPIC33
boards a year, and at present 35,000 ship with Salvo running on them. Harold F.
While there is a learning curve associated with learning an RTOS, once learned, the benefits of the structure that the RTOS brings to an application are substantial. And a carefully-crafted RTOS like Salvo can easily be configured to have zero impact (yes, zero!) on the real-time responsiveness of the application.
In 2009-2011, Pumpkin developed and delivered a series of twelve 3U-sized CubeSats to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) -- these were the Colony I buses. These 3U CubeSat-size buses had fixed and deployable panels, a full 3-axis ADACS with coarse sun sensors and a magnetometer, an 8051-based C&DH processor, multiple batteries and over 1000cc of payload volume. The NRO distributed Colony I buses to various organizations ranging from the Naval Research Lab (NRL, with their QbXI & QbXII CubeSats) to USC's ISI, with its Aeneas CubeSat.
Yesterday, a group of Students at USC ISIS's SERC delivered another Colony I-based CubeSat, this one to Vector Launch, Inc. This CubeSat is called GalacticSky-1, and its Colony I heritage is clearly visible.
It's interesting to reflect on how versatile the Colony I design turned out to be. In the intervening ten years, Pumpkin has greatly increased the capability of its 3U buses, and in doing so, added more payload volume, processing power, electrical power, battery energy, and sensors. That's now Pumpkin's MISC 3 family, and is ideally suited to IoT and other missions.
Read more about GalacticSky-1 in USC Viterbi's news release.
Sometime in the not-too-distant future, one of thousands of Pumpkin SUPERNOVAs is likely to fall back to Earth. Some time will pass, and someone will find it, in a field, resting, its payload long gone, and yet seemingly unscathed due to its robust construction.
Almost unscathed -- if you look closely, one of the SAP cover screws (made from 18-8 SST) burned up on rentry, and the -ZA1 SAP cover has worked itself loose ...