Satellite ground control systems are utilised in military environments to collate extraplanetary information from satellites stationed in orbit so that the data is then able to be relayed to military personnel for tactical applications. There is an increasing need for systems operating in remote areas to have mobile capabilities to maximise the volume of information being extrapolated from satellites and consequentially benefit the overall aims of the operation.
Given the environments in which the ground stations are being deployed and coupled with mobile installations, it is critical that the systems are as robust and resilient as ever. This is not only true in terms of physical durability but also with regards to the ability of the system to react to fluctuations and dropouts in power supplies. The ruggedisation of computers plays a crucial part in ensuring the deliverance of defence grade systems.
Furthermore, mobile satellite ground control systems will, as a result of their intended environment and purpose, require managed Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) functionalities complete with battery packs to ensure maximum uptime and the safe shutdown of computers. In addition, there are also pressing needs for systems to wide ranging temperature scales to be fully operational in spite of challenges related to heat issues imposed by their intended environment.
Other obstacles satellite ground control systems need to account for and overcome in terms of environmentally dictated issues include:
- The impact of shock and vibration
- EMC and thermal emissions
- Ability to operate in unclean end environment
- Options for a range of installations
Systems operating within the military environments are proven with testing and certification to MIL-STD’s comprised of rigorous technical and engineering specifications for military specific operations. The equipment used in stations, such as the computer at the centre of the application will need to be subject to scrupulous testing prior to their installation to ascertain their ability to function in challenging military environments.