Although the payloads of a satellite such as radar or optical instruments are the principle performance driver for a spacecraft, the platform control functionality plays a significant role in mission efficiency. Considering key characteristics like required payload data geolocation precision of today’s Earth observation missions, the requirements towards the satellite platform control functionality are even more continuously increasing. The same trend can be detected for specific missions like Earth gravity field measurements, for deep space missions and for latest concepts on Earth observation from geostationary orbit positions.
The platform control functionality is centrally driven by the functionality included in the onboard software, (OBSW), and the operational flexibility from ground – being based on onboard software functions and features. The performance of the onboard software itself is driven respectively limited by the performance of the available onboard computer, (OBC), hardware. Thus the chain of spacecraft operations from ground, complemented by the OBSW and controlling platform and payload equipment via the OBC hardware is the key system engineering challenge.
KeywordsOnboard Computer Ground Segment Operation Concept Deep Space Mission Power Subsystem
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