Did you know that one of OSI’s members is leading the effort to take open source to infinity and beyond?! Libre Space Foundation (LSF) is a non-profit foundation registered in Greece whose vision is “an Open and Accessible Outer Space for all.” The organization works to promote, advance and develop free and open source technologies and knowledge for space.
Recently, Libre Space Foundation, on behalf of the OpenSatCom.org activity of the European Space Agency, partnered with Inno3 to investigate open source development models in the satellite communications industry and share their findings in a report. As the authors explain, “..the SATCOM industry has been traditionally multiple vertical ecosystems and moved towards some standardization (through efforts like CCSDS, ECSS, DVB, etc.) on various of its parts. Yet it is far from an Open Ecosystem and specific actions should be taken to explore this direction for the benefit of the SATCOM industry.”
The publicly available report first offers a general overview of open source business models and then explores open source development methods in the context of specific industries/ecosystems:
- The Linux kernel
- Terrestrial communications, including Virtual Radio Access Networks
The report suggests most relevant open source models for each of seven different domains of the SATCOM industry (see figure at right).
In addition, the report links to an inventory of 78 existing open source software, hardware and specification projects relevant to the satellite communications.
Space is yet another domain where open source software, hardware and standards are very relevant and where the collaboration allowed by open source licenses will allow for faster progress of science. We applaud and support LSF’s efforts to expand the benefits of open source to those exploring the final frontier.