Electrical and Computer Engineering ETDs

Publication Date



Existing spacecraft wiring harnesses utilize fixed wiring harness architectures, consisting of either bundles of physical wires, electrical components with backplanes, or motherboard/card arrangements. All such designs are generally configured at manufacture and require significant rework when mission requirements change. A programmable wiring harness is proposed and implemented that, like a field programmable gate array (FPGA), is a pre-built switch fabric that is soft-configured at the time of use, and adapted in real time as components to be wired are added. By providing reversible and dynamically programmable software wires, when embedded in a wiring system, these can be used to build a programmable wiring manifold. The useful properties of this adaptive wiring system include design time reduction by orders of magnitude over traditional wiring harness implementations, the potential of self-healing/diagnostics, and soft-definable probe signals to aid in discovery of component faults. Algorithms used in FPGA routing are exploited to guide the formation of switchable wire paths in the adaptive wiring manifold. A physical system is implemented in this thesis that demonstrates the concepts of substrate/cell creation, master routing control and graph creation, and wiring commands generated and transmitted to the cell substrate in order to route electrical connections based on gathered netlists of detected components.


Space vehicles--Electric equipment, Electric wiring, Cellular automata, Adaptive control systems, Field programmable gate arrays


Air Force Research Labs Configurable Space Microsystems and Innovations Applications Center

Document Type




Degree Name

Computer Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Lyke, Jim

Second Committee Member

Pattichis, Marios