Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE)

Document Type

Master's Thesis




Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. James Lumpp Jr.


The explosion in processing power of embedded systems has enabled distributed embedded networks to perform more complicated tasks. Middleware are sets of encapsulations of common and network/operating system-specific functionality into generic, reusable frameworks to manage such distributed networks. This thesis will survey and categorize popular middleware implementations into three adapted layers: host-infrastructure, distribution, and common services. This thesis will then apply a quantitative approach to grading and proposing a single middleware solution from all layers for two target platforms: CubeSats and autonomous unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). CubeSats are 10x10x10cm nanosatellites that are popular university-level space missions, and impose power and volume constraints. Autonomous UAVs are similarly-popular hobbyist-level vehicles that exhibit similar power and volume constraints. The MAVLink middleware from the host-infrastructure layer is proposed as the middleware to manage the distributed embedded networks powering these platforms in future projects. Finally, this thesis presents a performance analysis on MAVLink managing the ARM Cortex-M 32-bit processors that power the target platforms.