tech track papers

Categories: 2016, Satellites

Smallsat Ground Systems, a C2 to RF Integrated Approach

The growth of the small sat industry has been driven by design and manufacturing advances that have reduced satellite size, production costs and time and launch costs.  The same transformation has to occur in the ground segment.  Like large, traditional satellites, small satellites require command and control software, data processing, networking and RF signal processing. What they don’t require is same complexity and added cost of traditional ground systems. To reduce the cost and complexity of traditional ground systems to make them applicable to the small satellite community, one has to change the procurement model to one of commercial software procurement, instead of program procurement.  This will result in operations capability in days to weeks instead of months to years; standards based products with well documented APIs that are easy to load, configure and maintain and are easy to expand for mission specific applications. The small sat community requires a turnkey ground system solution that is simple to install and operate, fits tight budgets, and can meet aggressive mission schedules…an approach that avoids the complexity associated with traditional ground systems and allows operators to focus their attention on the satellite and its mission rather than on developing home-grown small sat ground system alternatives.  This requires optimizing capabilities for LEO satellite operations and providing powerful operational tools with significant flexibility that can be tailored to customers’ operations concepts.  This also means designing the system so it can scale cost effectively and operate efficiently to support single small sat operations up to operating satellite fleets with thousands of satellites. Finally the product must be easy and inexpensive to deploy. This Tech Topic will examine a novel approach that integrates C2, front end processing and radio communications for a small sat ground system.


Author: Matthew Prechtel
Topic: Satellites

  • Smallsat Ground Systems, a C2 to RF Integrated Approach

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