November 8th & 9th, 2024
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Rust flies a rocket!

SeaGL 2016

Portland state university has a end of degree program called the Capstone project. This project is a real life software program required to be built by sponsors in and around the Portland, Oregon area. The sponsors come to Portland State to propose an idea they need implemented at the software level. This year, one group was the Portland State Aeronautical Society (PSAS).

PSAS is redesigning their rocket, and needs a new flight controller. Using the new systems programming language Rust, my Capstone team and I have implemented a flight controller to read on-board sensors and control roll stabilization using cold gas jets. We have also implemented a testing framework using JSBSim, the open source physics library for testing rockets under simulation.

Our team bet our ability to learn Rust before graduation, and build a stable flight controller that can actually be used in real life. By the end of August we will have our final results, and I would love to share our experience as a talk for this conference. All of our code is open source, and all of the PSAS hardware is open source.

I want to share our experience, complications, and successes with Rust, embedded software, and attempting to fly a rocket with a new systems programming language!