News

Emerging Earth Remote Sensing Instrument for Tropospheric Emissions Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO)

The Tropospheric Emissions, Monitoring of Pollution (TEMPO) program was selected by NASA for the Earth Venture Instruments 2012 Announcement of Opportunity.  TEMPO is an innovative use of a well-proven remote sensing technique for air quality measurements and Ball Aerospace is the instrument developer.  Low Earth Orbit (LEO) remote sensing techniques have made measurements of photochemical…

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GOES-R Update

NOAA’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) have been a mainstay of weather forecasts and environmental monitoring in the United States for more than 40 years. The next generation of GOES satellites, known as the GOES-R Series, will usher in a new era of continuous imagery and atmospheric measurements of Earth’s Western Hemisphere and space weather…

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NOAA’s Commercial Weather Data Pilot Project

NOAA’s Commercial Space Policy (January 2016) directs its Divisions to “…pursue demonstration projects to validate the viability of assimilating commercially provided environmental data and data products into NOAA meteorological models and add value to the forecast.” In 2016, NOAA initiated a Commercial Weather Data Pilot (CWDP), soliciting commercial industry to supply Global Navigation Satellite System…

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A concept for improved integration of Space Vehicle Operation into ATM

Commercial Space Transportation (CST) is stimulating increased activities in spaceflight and suborbital launches. With the implementation of mega constellations for space based broadband coverage, further growth is expected. Space vehicles will more frequently pass through civil airspace and will evolve from rare special events to regular airspace users. This development is creating an evident need…

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Esrange Space Center – Meeting future needs for advanced space services

The development of reusable space vehicles as well as robotic rovers for space exploration are challenging and expensive projects and thus there is a need for full scale testing to minimize the risk of failures before taking them into operation. Another area with increasing demands is the need for dedicated launch opportunities for small satellites.…

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Reducing time to issue resolution using terminal embedded monitoring and mitigation of interference in next gen satellites

Most satellite operators, view interference as their biggest operations issue. Resolving these issues can take from hours to days despite the demand for time to resolution being closer to seconds to minutes.  In a satellite network composed of hundreds of satellites and 10s to 100s of thousands of remote terminals, all either moving or with…

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Risk-Significant Adverse Condition Awareness Strengthens Assurance of Fault Management Systems

As spaceflight systems increase in complexity, Fault Management (FM) systems are ranked high in risk-based assessment of software criticality, emphasizing the importance of establishing highly competent domain expertise to provide assurance. Adverse conditions (ACs) and specific vulnerabilities encountered by safety- and mission-critical software systems have been identified through efforts to reduce the risk posture of…

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Advanced On-Board Calibration of Space Systems Using a Carbon Nanotube Flat-Plate Blackbody

Evolving remote sensing missions present a growing need for satellite sensors with significantly enhanced measurement accuracies beyond current capabilities. For example, the on-board calibration needed for very precise (e.g., <1% radiance uncertainty), spectrally resolved IR radiances typically requires high-emissivity, ε (≥0.999) calibration blackbodies (BBs). The challenge is that conventional BBs have coating emissivities that are…

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Frequency comb development for ultra-precise space based applications

Frequency comb technology uses a unique combination of broadband optical coherence and unprecedented frequency stability to create new tool for active and passive sensing and metrology.  Recent developments utilize this precision to demonstrate orders of magnitude improvement over state of the art spectroscopy, long distance ranging and velocity measurement, frequency conversion, and timing transfer. Demonstrations…

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Plasma Propulsion: Unlocking the Full Potential of Small Satellites

Small satellites are currently limited in capability by very low delta-V propulsion systems. With the advent of radio-frequency thrusters like the Phase Four RFT, an electric propulsion system designed specifically for small satellites, small satellite missions are no longer constrained by rideshare orbits and short mission lifetimes. By providing delta-V on the order of kilometers…

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