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Operations for parallel satellite support

Publication Date
  • Gsoc-Deutsches Raumfahrtkontrollzentrum
  • Communication
  • Design


In the early preparation phase for the upcoming robotic dual-satellite DLR mission several technical and operational challenges presented themselves. The mission itself shall produce advanced scientific findings for the on-orbit servicing missions. One of the satellites includes a sophisticated robotic arm with automated as well as manual operation modes. Very restrictive robotic payload requirements with respect to ground station visibilities as well as the quality of the data link became a main driver for the ground data system design. The real-time control and feedback of the robotic arm represents the particular challenge. Analysis of these requirements as well as technical and operational solutions will be presented, whereas some results are based on the successful ROKVISS mission. The usage of a dual-uplink antenna is discussed with regard to parallel operations of two satellites, here again, with already existing results provided by operations of the TanDEM-X mission. The design of the ground communication network as well as possible solutions allowing parallel robotic and housekeeping operations is shown. Results of this mission analysis and preparation are not only valuable for particular robotic, but for all dual-satellite, high data rate or realtime communication missions.

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