Ground Control Station Software
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Ground Control Station Software. KSHITEEJ MAHAJAN. PURPOSe OF GCS SOFTWARE. GCS Software responsible for: Receiving Data from the CanSat at Ground Station in real time Storing the received raw data

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  • GCS Software responsible for:

    • Receiving Data from the CanSat at Ground Station in real time

    • Storing the received raw data

    • Processing this raw data in real time to show meaningful data in presentable manner via graphs or map plots


  • We will learn to create a system that will cater to all roles required of GCS software

  • This will be a really simple module and you can improvise on this or take a different approach for designing your own for the competition

  • The language we will be using for the workshop: Java

1: Porting data from usb to a file

  • We need to interact with the USB port from within the Java program

  • We use the javaxcomm library for this. You can get it at:

  • Let’s see how to use this library

1: Porting data from usb to a file

  • Configuration steps once you download javaxcomm:

  • comm.jar should be placed in:%JAVA_HOME%/lib%JAVA_HOME%/jre/lib/ext

  • win32com.dll should be placed in:%JAVA_HOME%/bin%JAVA_HOME%/jre/bin%windir%System32

  • javax.comm.propertiesshould be placed in:%JAVA_HOME%/lib%JAVA_HOME%/jre/lib

1: Porting data from usb to a file

  • Let’s see a sample program

2: processing & plotting data

  • For real time plotting of data you can use an open source library. For java an example open source library is LiveGraph. It is available for download at:

  • Let’s see the nature of data and it’s plot in live graph application

3: trajectory plotting in googleEarth

  • GPS data can be viewed in Google Earth

  • For this we need to create an appropriate KML file

  • Just like HTML file is to a browser, KML file is to Google Earth application

  • Let’s see a typical KML file

  • We have to auto-generate this KML file from the GPS data

CHOIcE OF Platform

  • Here we have outlined a simplistic Java based application for GCS software

  • You are welcome to not use this and use other libraries in other programming languages. You can also use MATLAB for reading data from USB port and designing a UI for plotting the same in Matlab

Real world problems

  • The raw data we get from the CanSat may have errors as loss of data or the data being incorrect due to wireless mode of transfer from the CanSatto the GCS

  • A real world ground station software needs to take care of these