NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
three generations of tracking and data relay satellite (tdrs) spacecraftThe current Tracking and Data Relay Satellite configuration consists of nine in-orbit satellites (four first generation, three second generation and two third generation satellites) globally distributed in geosynchronous orbit to provide near continuous data relay service to missions like Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station. The 1st generation spacecraft were designed by TRW/Northrop Grumman with their launches of the five spacecraft ranging from 1983 through 1995. The 2nd and 3rd generation spacecraft were designed by Boeing with their launches ranging 2000 - 2002 and 2013 - 2017 respectively. TDRS-3 is now 27 years on orbit, continues to be a capable asset for the TDRS constellation. Lack of need for inclination control combined with large fuel reserves and redundancy on critical elements provides spacecraft that operate well past design life, all of which contributes to expanded TDRS constellation support capabilities. All spacecraft generations have issues. Significant issues will be summarized with the focus on the Boeing related problems. Degradations and failures are continually assessed and provide the foundation for yearly updates to spacecraft reliability models, constellation service projections and deorbit plans (in order to meet NASAs mandate of limiting orbital debris). Even when accounting for degradations and failures, the life expectancy for the Boeing delivered 2nd generation TDRS-8, 9 10 TDRS are anticipated to be 25+ years.
Document ID
Document Type
Zaleski, Ron
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
June 8, 2016
Publication Date
June 9, 2016
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
2016 Boeing Customer Satellite Conference(Hollywood, CA)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

NameType 20160007352.pdf STI