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Space Blog

Introducing the Ground Systems Group

This week Space Blog caught up with James Northam, head of the Ground Systems Group to find out more about how SSTL helps its customers to use and control their satellites once they are in space. James explained, "The moment a satellite is launched into orbit it is physically completely inaccessible, so to make use of the satellite you need a communication link with the control centre back on Earth and tools that enable you to effectively utilise the mission. My Group provides all the hardware and software necessary to do this’
Sapphire (MDA Canada) Ground Station Antenna
Sapphire (MDA Canada) Ground Station Antenna
The Ground Systems Group comprises four teams: Ground segments, Ground software, Simulators and Spacecraft operations. Over the coming weeks we will find out more about each of these important functions and the technology involved. This week we take a closer look at Ground Segments. Ground Segments An SSTL Mission typically comprises two parts - The space segment consisting of the satellite platform and its payload and back on earth, the ground segment. For a typical SSTL mission the Ground Segment comprises a Spacecraft Operations Centre (SOC) which is responsible for the command and control of the satellite, a Mission Operations Centre (MOC) which deals with the payload planning activities and the processing of the payload data and a Ground Station which provides the communication link between the Ground Segment and Space Segment. The teams involvement is flexible depending on the needs of the customer "“ "we can provide everything from hardware to integrate into an existing customers ground segment to providing a full turnkey ground segment solution for an SSTL mission" "Our involvement starts at the beginning of the mission to understand the requirements both from the mission and from the customer perspective. We can then design the Ground Segment based on these requirements and on what, if any, existing infrastructure they may already have."





08 June 20110 Comments1 Comment

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