NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
DSMS investment in support of satellite constellations and formation flyingOver the years, NASA has supported unmanned space missions, beyond earth orbit, through a Deep Space Mission System (DSMS) that is developed and operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and subcontractors. The DSMS capabilities have been incrementally upgraded since its establishment in the late '50s and are delivered primarily through three Deep Space Communications Complexes (DSCC 's) near Goldstone, California, Madrid, Spain, and Canberra, Australia and from facilities at JPL. Traditionally, mission support (tracking, command, telemetry, etc) is assigned on an individual-mission basis, between each mission and a ground-based asset, independent of other missions. As NASA, and its international partners, move toward flying fullconstellations and precision formations, the DSMS is developing plans and technologies to provide the requisite support. The key activities under way are: (1) integrated communications architecture for Mars exploration, including relays on science orbiters and dedicated relay satellites to provide continuous coverage for orbiters, landers and rovers. JPL is developing an architecture, as well as protocols and equipment, required for the cost-effective operations of such an infrastructure. (2) Internet-type protocols that will allow for efficient operations across the deep-space distances, accounting for and accommodating the long round-trip-light-time. JPL is working with the CCSDS to convert these protocols to an international standard and will deploy such protocol, the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP), on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) and on the Deep Impact (01) missions. (3) Techniques to perform cross-navigation between spacecrafi that fly in a loose formation. Typical cases are cross-navigation between missions that approach Mars and missionsthat are at Mars, or the determination of a baseline for missions that fly in an earth-lead- lag configuration. (4) Techniques and devices that allow the precise metrology and controllability of tightformations for precision constellation missions. In this paper we discuss the four classes of constellatiodformation support with emphasis of DSMS current status (technology and implementation) and plans in the first three areas.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Statman, J. I.
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
February 24, 2003
Distribution Limits
space operations