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Modernization of the Cassini Ground SystemThe Cassini Spacecraft and its ground system have been operational for over 16 years. Modernization presents several challenges due to the personnel, processes, and tools already invested and embedded into the current ground system structure. Every mission's ground system has its own unique complexities and challenges, involving various organizational units. As any mission from its inception to its execution, schedules are always tight. This forces GDS engineers to implement a working ground system that is not necessarily fully optimized. Ground system challenges increase as technology evolves and cyber threats become more sophisticated. Cassini's main challenges were due to its ground system existing before many security requirements were levied on the multi-mission tools and networks. This caused a domino effect on Cassini GDS tools that relied on outdated technological features. In the aerospace industry reliable and established technology is preferred over innovative yet less proven technology. Loss of data for a spacecraft mission can be catastrophic; therefore, there is a reluctance to make changes and updates to the ground system. Nevertheless, all missions and associated teams face the need to modernize their processes and tools. Systems development methods from well-known system analysis and design principles can be applied to many missions' ground systems. Modernization should always be considered, but should be done in such a way that it does not affect flexibility nor interfere with established practices. Cassini has accomplished a secure and efficient ground data system through periodic updates. The obstacles faced while performing the modernization of the Cassini ground system will be outlined, as well as the advantages and challenges that were encountered.
Document ID
20160008160
Document Type
Presentation
External Source(s)
Authors
Razo, Gus (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Fujii, Tammy (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
July 1, 2016
Publication Date
May 5, 2014
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Ground Support Systems and Facilities (Space)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other

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