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On of the selected "best topic paper" of the SpaceOps 2012 Conference was the "Efficacy of the Dawn Vesta Science Plan" (
), describing the results of the execution of the science operations plan and how that compared to the assumptions that informed the development of the plan.
Communications security for spaceflight means
measures to keep the transmitted information from and to a spacecraft via the various communication links secure (confidential) and to prohibit unauthorized access to this information for the purpose of gaining this information and/or altering it.
Security issues in spaceflight are very complex and not very highly published. One facet of security is user authentication: an ESA developed telecommand (TC) authentication scheme with a probability of discovering the key in the order of 1% is discussed. However this “discovering probability” is considered not to be adequate for specific ESA security requirements
More notable communications security considerations were presented during the 2016 Conference:
SpaceSecLab: A modular environment for prototyping space-link security protocols
Reliable Commanding and Telemetry Operations Using CFDP (CCSDS File Delivery Protocol)
Service Oriented Architecture
Service oriented architecture is a flexible set of design principles providing a system modelled as a loosely-integrated
of services (
). Services are functional capabilities exchanged between service providers and service consumers within the system via well defined interfaces (
). Systems based on SOA are loosely related to OS and programming languages, which allows them to be easy to maintain and to manage (
). Interoperability, extensibility, adaptability and generic applicability are the key advantages of SOA-based systems. Basics of service oriented architectures and interactions of applications, components and infrastructure are presented (
). The CCSDS Mission Operation framework (CCSDSMO) based on a Service Oriented Architecture is introduced in
. One paper advocates that higher integration of flight and ground aspects should be event driven not service driven to improve configurability and extensibility (
Simulators are replicas of the entire spacecraft or components including mock up equipment to simulate (more or less realistically) real zero-gravity, in situ flight behavior. Simulators are used to check-out spacecraft functions on the ground and to train and qualify operations personnel pre-flight. During operations simulators are used for failure investigation and test of software reloads and/or new operations procedures.
Simulators have to tackle increasingly complex problems like satellite constellations and rover operations
. Simulators have a growing important role for knowledge-maintenance over long duration missions as
as for public education
A future MARS system operational simulation was presented during the 2016 Conference and was selected as best topic paper:
Future Mars System Operational Simulation: Research Outcomes and Educational Benefit
SLS (Space Launch System Program)
The NASA SLS program is charged with delivering a new capability for human and scientific exploaration beyond Earth orbit (BEO). This selected SpaceOps2012 Conference "best paper"
) describes the current planning and components of this international program in detail, focussing on the opearions
. An excellent summary showing how the Space Age continues to unfold.
In the SpaceOps2016 Conference another SLS paper as "best.topic" paper was selected:
Enabling Science and Deep Space Exploration Through Space Launch System Secondary Payload Opportunities
Method for developing flight and ground software under the specific aspects of uniqueness, functional verification, re-usability, adaptability, certification and maintainability during space-missions, respecting limited financial resources. AGILE programming as a new method to reduce overall S/W development cost in a mission control environment is recommended AIAA paper
. The use of complex and flexible telemetry/telecommand standard packages often do not yield the expected cost savings, because of high customization efforts (Round Table). The ESA Standardization Board has launched an ESA wide initiative aimed at standardizing Secure Software Engineering (SSE). The SpaceOps2014 Conference paper
describes this process. Another SpaceOps2014 paper describes an open source development for data integration and display with the core objective to enable collaboration, open the software to outside innovation and stimulate a community of open source mission operations participants and contributors (
) . The ESA Ground Systems Common Core (EGS-CC) is theEuropean initiative to develop a common infrastructure to support space systems monitoring and control. The initiative is being performed as a collaboration between ESA, European national agencies and European industry (
The Space Elevator is a cable extending 36,000 km from geosynchonous orbit (GEO) to the surface of the Earth. To hold up the cable there must be another large cable or counterweight extending upward from GEO such that the center of mass of the system is in GEO and orbiting with a velocity equal to the rotation rate of the Earth on its axis. People and/or machinery climb the cable (tether) from Earth's surface at an equatorial (sea/earth-) station in a cabin (climber) to GEO achieving orbital velocity. The first
European Space Elevator Challenge (EuSEC)
took place at the Technical University Munich, August 2011.
Spacecraft operations covers the preparation and implementation of
activities to operate a space vehicle (manned and unmanned) under normal, non-nominal and emergency conditions. This includes the
, production and qualification of all means (tools, procedures and trained personnel) to perform this task. The main challenge is the cost-efficient combination of tools, degree of
and staffing to provide secure and reliable operations.
(see papers in the categories Automation, Planning Tools and Advanced Technologies, Earth Orbiting Missions, Moon Mars and Beyond, Operations Experiences)
is an association of international space agencies
chartered in 1992
to foster continuous technical interchange on all aspects of space mission operations and ground data systems. The organization also promotes and maintains an international community of space operations experts from agencies, academic institutions, operators and industry.
In a spiral development lifecycle, a process set is iterated and the risk is actively managed. The spiral emphasizes risk management in that, in each cycle, the first step is to evaluate products and process, identify risk
, and define the products of the subsequent iteration so as to minimize risk. As a result, the spiral software is effectively risk-driven in that risk analysis determines the products during each cycle. Spiral development thus differs significantly from repeatedly executing a sequence of linear (waterfall) processes blindly and with no risk assessment. Specifically, the win-win spiral development consists of the following steps during each cycle:
1. Identification of the stakeholders for the next software development cycle.
2. Identification of the criteria of success of each stakeholder. In general, stakeholder will use different criteria to assess whether the proposed software system is successful.
3. Reconciliation of success criteria.
4. Risk-driven evaluation of alternatives for processes and products, identification of the objectives for the next cycle.
5. Plan execution.
6. Review and validation of product and process.
At the end of the cycle, either the product is complete or another cycle starts.
(Vincenzo Liberatore “Scalability and Development of Space Exploration Networks”, Space Operations Communicator, July 2007)
Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems
(CCSDS) was formed in 1982 by the major space agencies of the world to provide a forum for discussion of common problems in the
and operation of space data systems. It is currently composed of eleven member agencies, twenty-eight observer agencies, and over 140 industrial associates.
Since its establishment, it has been actively developing recommendations for data- and information-systems standards to promote interoperability and cross support among cooperating space agencies, to enable multi-agency spaceflight collaboration (both planned and contingency) and new capabilities for
missions. Additionally, CCSDS standardization reduces the cost burden of spaceflight missions by allowing cost sharing between agencies and cost-effective commercialization. CCSDS also functions as
International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO represents 162 nations, and is composed of many technical committees and subcommittees. The two subcommittees (SC) focused on the space
are under Technical Committee (TC) 20,
Aircraft and Space Vehicles
– Space Data and Information Transfer Systems.
Space Data and Information Transfer Systems
is the ISO subcommittee responsible for standardization in the field of Space Data Systems. This committee has
membership and scope overlap with CCSDS. Further, the TC20/SC13 standards document efforts consist exclusively of processing published CCSDS standards through the ISO system to produce standards that have the strength, authority and technical accuracy which results from both ISO and CCSDS processes.
– Space Systems and Operations.
The Space Systems and Operations Committee
is the principal subcommittee responsible for standardization in the field of space systems and operations. Founded in 1992, SC14 has a very broad scope with more than 80 projects underway. The scope of this group is standardization for manned and unmanned space vehicles, their design, production, maintenance, operation, and disposal, and the environment in which they operate.
Object Management Group
(OMG) produces and maintains
industry specifications for interoperable enterprise applications. The
Space Domain Task Force
of OMG consists of space professionals committed to greater interoperability, reduction in costs, schedule, and risk for space applications through increased standardization.
Accepted sets of definitions, which enable the user of those standards to exchange appropriate information in a seamless, cost saving manner. Presented spaceflight standards for ground and on-board are basically driven by the international Consultative Committee on Space Data Systems (CCSDS) and the European Space Agency ECSS standards.
CCSDS key words: layers, wrapabilty, swap ability
. Positive experiences with XTCE
are reported. Deployment of (CCSDS-) Space Link Extension (SLE) standards make quick process in Europe
)– however it was noted that very few non-European papers were seen on SLE: is this as a consequence of Europe being ahead of other regions in SLE rollout? (Round Table) There is growing use of standardization, particularly SMP2 standard in simulators
. SMP2 is due to become an ECSS standard. ESA studies the unification of ground systems in Europe (standardization of interfaces) – is it recognized there is a long way to go
. Basic ideas for standardizing "Scientific Operations Systems" (SOS) are presented and are also proposed to CCSDS for establishing a working
. Multi-mission operations concepts and their standardization must "go in one breath" (Round Table). There are lots of competing standards out there, suggesting the field is in a healthy state (Round Table).
Describes the concept of customizing the design of the ground control systems to a particular satellite project. It is believed that the merging of those systems into an integrated system with the goal to operate all current and
generations of the same group of satellites (e.g., military communication satellites) will make the ground command- and control system capabilites more efficient.
Stretch Goal Requirements
One of the Constellation program (-> Constellation) general policy states: A sustainable program (->Sustainable Space Exploration) hinges on how effectively total life cycle costs are managed. In response to the strong desire to manage the life cycle costs, special efforts were established to identify operability requirements to influence flight vehicle and ground infrastructure design. In order to impact the life cycle costs “stretch goal requirements” were introduced (2008-3308) into the Constellation Architecture Requirements Document (CARD).
Sustainable Space Exploration
Concept of an open architecture approach which would allow participation of commercial service providers and international partners and would incorporate new technologies as they are matured recommended to be applied for the Vision for Space Exploration (VSE).
In the SpaceOps 2016 Conference a paper from the Nigeria Space Agency (NASRDA)was selected as "best topic" paper:
Quest of Nigeria into Space for Sustainable Development
System of Systems
Describes the concept of combining the results of similar spaceflight missions into an enhanced knowledge of the mission purpose on a global scale.
The validation of the participating flight and ground systems in all possible configurations to validate the expected performance according to the specified system and subsystem requirements. This includes the flight and ground personnel as
(i.e. end-to-end testing).
System Validation of all contributing ground subsystems is a precondition for operational qualification and is usually performed as an independent activity. Experience has shown that early system validation testing, in which the involved subsystems lack a common level of maturity, is beneficial.2
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