Ground Operations (Methods and Tools)
All activities in or between ground based facilities for monitoring and controlling spacecraft during their mission as well securing the mission return. It covers the preparation, qualification and operations of a mission-dedicated ground segment and appropriate infrastructure including Antennas, Control Centers and Communication means and Interfaces. Ground operations in this context covers the design, implementation and qualification of a particular ground segment, the provision of ground segment operations tools, provision of simulation means, ground segment operation, configuration management and maintenance of the ground segment. The main challenge is the implementation and operations of high-quality, cost-efficient and secure space-to-ground, space-to-space and ground-to-ground communications respecting a multitude of different standards and protocols (see also papers in the categories Standards, Ground Systems, Communications and Tracking).
In the SpaceOps2014 Conference the DLR/GSOC "best topic" paper AIAA 2014-1807 presented a new approach to ground station scheduling as an interoperability service respecting the associated security aspects
One of the 2016 Conference best topic papers was about signal acquisition after large apogee raising maneuvers:
AIAA 2016-2428: LISA Pathfinder: New Methods for Acquisition of Signal after large Apogee Raising Maneuvers
A new "plug & play" approach for Ground Stations was presented in:
AIAA 2016 -2583: Doing the same - But differently. Plug & Play Solutions for Ground System Operations

Ground Station Development
In the 2016 Conference managment aspects for the development of new Ground stations was discussed:
AIAA 2016-2371: Managing Expectations for Ground Station Development at Awarua, New Zealand

Ground System Reliability
Success of the Constellation Program’s lunar architecture requires successfully launching two vehicles, Ares I/Orion and Ares V/Altair, within a very limited time period. The reliability and maintainability of flight vehicles and ground systems must deliver a high probability of successfully launching the second vehicle in order to avoid wasting the on-orbit asset launched by the first vehicle. The Ground Operations Project determined which ground subsystems had the potential to affect the probability of the second launch and allocated quantitative availability requirements to these subsystems. The Ground Operations Project also developed a methodology to estimate subsystem reliability, availability, and maintainability to ensure that ground subsystems complied with allocated launch availability and maintainability requirements. The verification analysis developed quantitative estimates of subsystem availability based on design documentation, testing results, and other information.
This case study (AIAA 2010-2180) will discuss the subsystem requirements allocation process, describe the ground systems methodology for completing quantitative reliability, availability, and maintainability analysis, and present findings and observation based on analysis.

GPS for GEO Satellites
The interesting question under what preconditions the Global Positioning System (GPS) could be used for satellites in geosationary orbit (GEO) was discussed in an interview with European flight dynamics experts in the "Journal of Space Operations & Communicator "

Ground Network Renewal
The "best topic paper" "CNES Ground Network Renewal" (AIAA-2012-1275510) addresses the challenges of increasing the network capacity and reduce opeerations cost. The details are tackled in a project called "CORMORAN" - the paper describes all the components and rationale.