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Contingency Support Simulation for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS)In March 2006, the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS)-3 experienced an unexpected thrusting event, which caused significant changes to its orbit. Recovery from this anomaly was protracted, raising concerns during the Independent Review Team (IRT) investigation of the anomaly regarding the contingency response readiness. The simulations and readiness exercises discussed in this paper were part of the response to the IRT concerns. This paper explains the various levels of simulation needed to enhance the proficiency of the Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF) and supporting elements in recovery from a TDRS contingency situation. The main emergency to address is when a TDRS has experienced uncommanded, unreported, or misreported thrusting, causing a ground station to lose the ability to acquire the spacecraft, as happened in 2006. The following levels of simulation are proposed: 1) Tests that would be performed by the individual support sites to verify that internal procedures and tools are in place and up to date; 2) Tabletop simulations that would involve all of the key support sites talking through their respective operating procedures to ensure that proper notifications are made and communications links are established; and 3) Comprehensive simulations that would be infrequent, but realistic, involving data exchanges between ground sites and voice and electronic communications among the supporting elements.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Dykes, Andy
(AI Solutions, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Dunham, Joan
(AI Solutions, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Ward, Douglas T.
(AI Solutions, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Robertson, Mika
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Nesbit, Gary
(General Dynamics Corp. White Sands, NM, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 24, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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