Session

Weekend Session 3: Science/Mission Payloads - Research & Academia I

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

OPS-SAT is a 3U CubeSat launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on December 18, 2019. It is the first nanosatellite to be directly owned and operated by ESA. The spacecraft is a flying platform that is easily accessible to European industry, institutions, and individuals enabling rapid prototyping, testing, and validation of their software and firmware experiments in space at no cost and no bureaucracy. Conceived to break the “has not flown, will not fly” cycle, OPS-SAT has spearheaded many firsts in both space and ground segments. For instance, its uplink rate is four times higher than any ESA spacecraft; it employs never before flown communication protocols, and it implements new ESA patents. Proven and standard approaches to space operations are difficult to break away from in a sector that epitomizes risk-averseness. This is particularly true with how packet telemetry and telecommand are addressed using the Packet Utilization Standard (PUS). OPS-SAT has set aside PUS in favor of a standard that is currently being defined by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), that is, MO Services and the File Delivery Protocol (CFDP)’s file-based operations. OPS-SAT is the first in-orbit demonstration of fully MO-based on-board software and ground implementations. With over 220 experiment proposals submitted, a robust file transfer and management system greatly reduces the complexity and cost of operating multiple on-board software instances that must reliably deliver results back to experimenters. This paper details the design, implementation, and operations of the MO Services and CFDP on OPS-SAT. It presents the benefits of developing, deploying, and maintaining the MO/MAL ground infrastructure with OPS-SAT as a case study. Lessons learned as well as recommendations from the spacecraft’s flight-proven experience in adopting and operationalising the standard are presented as invaluable feedback for future missions as well as for CCSDS ongoing development of the standard.

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Aug 6th, 5:15 PM

MO Services and CFDP in Action on OPS-SAT

Utah State University, Logan, UT

OPS-SAT is a 3U CubeSat launched by the European Space Agency (ESA) on December 18, 2019. It is the first nanosatellite to be directly owned and operated by ESA. The spacecraft is a flying platform that is easily accessible to European industry, institutions, and individuals enabling rapid prototyping, testing, and validation of their software and firmware experiments in space at no cost and no bureaucracy. Conceived to break the “has not flown, will not fly” cycle, OPS-SAT has spearheaded many firsts in both space and ground segments. For instance, its uplink rate is four times higher than any ESA spacecraft; it employs never before flown communication protocols, and it implements new ESA patents. Proven and standard approaches to space operations are difficult to break away from in a sector that epitomizes risk-averseness. This is particularly true with how packet telemetry and telecommand are addressed using the Packet Utilization Standard (PUS). OPS-SAT has set aside PUS in favor of a standard that is currently being defined by the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), that is, MO Services and the File Delivery Protocol (CFDP)’s file-based operations. OPS-SAT is the first in-orbit demonstration of fully MO-based on-board software and ground implementations. With over 220 experiment proposals submitted, a robust file transfer and management system greatly reduces the complexity and cost of operating multiple on-board software instances that must reliably deliver results back to experimenters. This paper details the design, implementation, and operations of the MO Services and CFDP on OPS-SAT. It presents the benefits of developing, deploying, and maintaining the MO/MAL ground infrastructure with OPS-SAT as a case study. Lessons learned as well as recommendations from the spacecraft’s flight-proven experience in adopting and operationalising the standard are presented as invaluable feedback for future missions as well as for CCSDS ongoing development of the standard.