Session

Technical Session 1: Mission Operations and Autonomy

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

SSCI is leading a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded team launching a mission in June 2021, dubbed Sagittarius A*, to demonstrate key hardware and software technologies for on-orbit autonomy, to provide a software testbed for on-orbit developmental test & autonomous mission operations, and to reduce risk for future constellation-level mission autonomy and operations. In this paper, we present the system CONOPs and capabilities, system architectures, flight and ground software development status, and initial commissioning status. The system will fly on Loft Orbital’s YAM-3 shared LEO satellite mission, and includes SSCI’s onboard autonomy software suite running on an Innoflight CFC-400 processor with onboard Automatic Target Recognition (ATR). The autonomy payload has attitude control authority over the spacecraft bus and command authority of the imaging payload, and performs fully-autonomous onboard request handling, resource & task allocation, collection execution, ATR, and detection downlinking. The system is capable of machine-to -machine tip-and-cue from offboard cueing sources via cloud-based integrations. Requests for mission data are submitted to the satellite throughout its orbit from a tactical user level via a smartphone application, and ISR data products are downlinked and displayed at the tactical level on an Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) smartphone. Follow-on software updates can be sent to the autonomy suite as over-the-air updates for on-orbit testing at any time during the on-orbit life of the satellite. Communications include GlobalStar inter-satellite communications for low rate task and status monitoring, and ground station links for payload data downloads. Planned demonstrations and opportunities will be discussed.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

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Aug 9th, 10:00 AM

Sagittarius A* Small Satellite Mission: Capabilities and Commissioning Preview

Utah State University, Logan, UT

SSCI is leading a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)-funded team launching a mission in June 2021, dubbed Sagittarius A*, to demonstrate key hardware and software technologies for on-orbit autonomy, to provide a software testbed for on-orbit developmental test & autonomous mission operations, and to reduce risk for future constellation-level mission autonomy and operations. In this paper, we present the system CONOPs and capabilities, system architectures, flight and ground software development status, and initial commissioning status. The system will fly on Loft Orbital’s YAM-3 shared LEO satellite mission, and includes SSCI’s onboard autonomy software suite running on an Innoflight CFC-400 processor with onboard Automatic Target Recognition (ATR). The autonomy payload has attitude control authority over the spacecraft bus and command authority of the imaging payload, and performs fully-autonomous onboard request handling, resource & task allocation, collection execution, ATR, and detection downlinking. The system is capable of machine-to -machine tip-and-cue from offboard cueing sources via cloud-based integrations. Requests for mission data are submitted to the satellite throughout its orbit from a tactical user level via a smartphone application, and ISR data products are downlinked and displayed at the tactical level on an Android Tactical Assault Kit (ATAK) smartphone. Follow-on software updates can be sent to the autonomy suite as over-the-air updates for on-orbit testing at any time during the on-orbit life of the satellite. Communications include GlobalStar inter-satellite communications for low rate task and status monitoring, and ground station links for payload data downloads. Planned demonstrations and opportunities will be discussed.