Highly configurable system for the Management of Multi-mission Satellite Ground Stations
Multi-mission satellite ground stations are very dynamic entities, as they must be frequently adapted to support new missions (completely new satellites or new members of a constellation) or to support station equipment upgrades due to their technological evolution. Furthermore, entities that operate multiple stations, must transfer these modifications to all the stations in its ground stations network, to keep them all synchronized and up-to-date. This process uses to be complex and expensive. One of the reasons of that is that, in many cases, ground station engineers can not tackle this process on their own, but need to draw on the developers of the ground station management systems.
The SACGES projects aims at obtaining a new concept of Ground Station Management system with significantly improved adaptability and configurability capabilities so the dependency on SW developers for ground station engineering tasks is drastically reduced. This aspect translates into very significant savings in costs and time and, therefore, into a significant increase of cost-effectiveness of ground stations exploitation.
To obtain this new system, referred to as SACGES, TTI shall draw on its sound experience in the development of Ground Station Management systems and, in particular, in the FEC and CSMC systems, previously developed by TTI for ESA.
In particular, to achieve this general objective we will tackle the following technical challenges:
- To identify and decouple the specific station functions from the GS Management software (they are currently implemented in function libraries linked to the application), so that they can be implemented by the station engineer in a simple interpreted language (such as Python, Lua, …).
- To develop a new component ” Operational Procedures Manager” that would be in charge of the execution of the functions “decoupled” in the form of “procedures” prepared by the station engineer. This component also increases current automation capabilities, since it adds the possibility of executing procedures associated with events that can be dynamically defined in the application.
- To develop new graphic tools for editing, executing and debugging these Operational Procedures.
- To modify the current system to support the reconfiguration on-line of operational parameters (operational parameterization or operational tailoring)
- To develop new graphic tools “Operational Tailoring Tools” to facilitate the aforementioned reconfiguration on-line.
These improvements will also contribute to increase no only the configurability and adaptability of the ground station, but also its automation level.