Autonomous Ground Station Scheduling and Orbit Determination System
The Space Technology 5's (ST5) smallsats will fly in a geostationary orbit in Earth's magnetosphere. The mission will use an existing commercial off-the-shelf software called SatTrack that has been fitted with new tools to autonomously perform scheduling and daily orbit determination functions.
SatTrack is being redesigned to "talk" directly with the ST5 ground data system (GDS) and ground network. The GDS will gather information on the state of the ST5 smallsats when they are in orbit. The ground network will gather tracking data and coordinate autonomous ground contact schedules.
The ground station scheduling and flight dynamics required for ST5 include:
- orbit determination
- maneuver planning
- spacecraft attitude determination and control
- generation of mission planning products
- scheduling of ground station contacts
- real-time graphic and alphanumeric displays
- archiving of state vectors and planning products
SatTrack will also provide real-time graphics displays, such as a world map, a 3-D space animation, and sky view polar displays for each ground station. Graphics features include ground tracks, 3-D trajectories, sky tracks, day/night shading, station access contours, SAA contours and alphanumeric
information. These displays will allow operations personnel to monitor the orbital motion of the smallsat cluster.