Ground-Based Control of a Satellite Cluster

Ross Wainwright, Air Force Research Laboratory, USA

Air Force Research Laboratory’s Distributed Architecture and Simulation Laboratory (DASL) is designed to support the development of new concepts in space systems. One new concept is AFRL’s TechSat 21 program. TechSat 21 is a cluster of formation-flying and cooperating satellites. TechSat 21 poses significant challenges to satellite operations. The ground control station must be capable of monitoring and commanding a virtual satellite. In the last few months, satellite simulations, intelligent ground systems, and visualizations have been built and pulled together into an end-to-end system. This system passed an important demonstration milestone. The continuing effort is to create a more precise model of the satellite cluster in the intelligent ground station.

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