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Proceedings Paper

Ground systems: maximize science downlink to reduce costs
Author(s): Jonathan Gal-Edd; Curtis Fatig; Jane Steck; Robert Zepp
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Paper Abstract

Selections and tradeoffs during mission concept development and ground system architecture definition determine the cost-effectiveness of the spacecraft operations. The Next Generation Space Telescope (NGST) makes this difficult due to its unique mission requirements. Experience has shown a greater savings can be achieved at the ground station and it's interfaces with the spacecraft. Since a majority of the bandwidth is used for science data, this is one of the major areas to explore. This paper will address problems and experiences with the various approaches to accommodate the ground station interfaces with the spacecraft. As a team we have explored several approaches: - Antenna size, frequency, and transmit power on the spacecraft is a big driver in determining the ground station cost, - Data guarantee verses data loss risk, - Down-linking all data verses putting more logic for science processing on board. This includes discussions on guaranteed data delivery protocols and downlink change only data, - Evaluation of recording the data at the ground station for a reduced rate playback later, and - Transmitters at different frequencies for simultaneous downlinks. Many of these topics and how they are applied, change over the course of time as projects implement their requirements. To achieve the goal of 'low cost', innovated approaches have to be taken into consideration.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 January 2002
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 4844, Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III, (2 January 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.472712
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan Gal-Edd, National Aeronautical and Space Agency/NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Curtis Fatig, Orbital Science Corp./NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Jane Steck, National Aeronautical and Space Agency/NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Robert Zepp, Computer Sciences Corp./NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4844:
Observatory Operations to Optimize Scientific Return III
Peter J. Quinn, Editor(s)

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