Open System of Agile Ground Stations
The Phase I effort demonstrated, through actual development and tests with a spacecraft system, the technical and programmatic feasibility of developing, within the SBIR phase II program, the prototype of an innovative and low-cost Open System of Agile Ground Stations using the new commercial Software Defined Radio (SDR) technology. The prototype agile stations will operate in a wide band used by NASA and other science and technology satellites and will be able to switch between communications frequencies, modes and data protocols, in real time, to service multiple satellites. The stations will be remotely programmable to store portfolios of satellite applications, and will switch between applications on demand from the largely automatized Ground Station Management and Maintenance Center (GSMMC). Multiple station sites will provide a high level of back-up capability and link opportunities at up to 3.5Mbits/s and will eliminate down-times. The GSMMC will interface with the different satellite Mission Operation Centers, and oversee the scheduling and programming of the station system. The prototype system will be implemented on the existing HETE-2 network of three stations, opening that system to service multiple missions at very low cost, while significantly enhancing its capabilities and performance.
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Fran??ois H. Martel
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