Return to Reinventing Space 2013

2013 abstracts

Paper Number RS2013-2013-1002: Hosted Payloads or Dedicated Rideshare? What’s the Best Way to Orbit?
Daniel Lim (TriSept Corporation), Jason Armstrong (Trisept Corporation)

Much recent attention has casted commercially hosted payloads as the panacea for the woes of so few rideshares occurring in the US space industry. Dedicated ridesharing seems to have taken second chair to hosted payloads as of late in the industry limelight with the success of the Air Force’s Commercially Hosted Infrared Payload (CHIRP) mission. Many articles have been written on hosted payloads, and interest in this solution set is evidenced in recent contracting solicitations and requests for information by the US Government. In fact, several articles have defined rideshare as synonymous to hosted payload employment. However, are hosted payloads the right solution to put more US payloads on orbit? Will hosted payloads succeed in increasing the number of rideshares in our industry?

This paper is a candid response to the industry’s increased interest in hosted payloads, and it presents both the pros and cons to employing hosted payloads versus dedicated rideshare spacecraft. This includes addressing issues of long-term costs, impacts to launch schedule, information assurance concerns, hurdles in current statutes regarding international partnership, and several other factors in discussing the viability of hosted payloads as the main method of increasing the frequency of ridesharing. Similarly, this paper presents an evaluation to the employment of dedicated rideshare spacecraft to bring the community a comprehensive view on the real trade space in employing either option for rideshare. The paper brings these concerns forward to bring to light the hindrances to both solutions to encourage the industry to count the overall costs and begin formulation of solutions to these issues to make rideshare, both hosted payloads and dedicated rideshare, much more commonplace for US launches. Topics Addressed—Ways to dramatically reduce space system and launch cost and schedule.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-1003: Performance Based Cost Modeling: Quantifying the Cost Reduction Potential of Small Observation Satellites
Anthony Shao (Microcosm, Inc./USC), Elizabeth A. Koltz (USC), James R. Wertz (Microcosm, Inc./USC)

In the present budget environment, there is a strong need to drive down the cost of space missions. There is the perception that small satellites are inherently much lower cost than more traditional, larger satellites and can play a central role in reducing overall mission cost, but this effect has been difficult to quantify. Without quantifiable evidence of their value, we believe that small satellites are under utilized as a method for reducing mission costs.

The purpose of this study is to quantify the relationship between cost and performance for Earth observation systems. We conclude that for an Earth observation system, an increase in performance, reduction in cost, or both, is possible by using multiple SmallSats at lower altitudes when compared to traditional systems. This paper provides an estimate for the level of cost reduction. Specifically,

Past Earth observation systems have used traditional space technology to achieve the best possible performance, but have been very expensive
In addition, low-cost, responsive dedicated launch has not been available for SmallSats
Using modern microelectronics, future SmallSat observation systems, operating at a lower altitude than traditional systems, have the potential for:
Comparable or Better Performance (Resolution and Coverage)
Much Lower Overall Mission Cost (by a factor of 2 to 10)
Lower Risk (both Implementation and Operations)
Shorter Schedule
Relevant secondary advantages for the low-altitude SmallSats include:
Lower up-front development cost
More sustainable business model
More flexible and resilient
More responsive to both new technology and changing needs
Mitigates the problem of orbital debris
The principal demerits of the approach are the lack of a low-cost, responsive launch vehicles and the need for a new way of doing business and changing the way we think about the use of space assets. This paper provides the basis for this assessment and the quantitative results.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-1004: Space Universal Modular Architecture (SUMO): An Industry Consensus Interoperability Standard to Enhance Satellite Affordability and Energize the US Space Industrial Base
Bernie Collins (National Intelligence/Acquisition)

Working closely with the commercial space industry and space faring government organizations, the Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) seeks to facilitate solutions and architectures that can result in lower satellite costs. This objective will be accomplished in a way that is consistent with the National Security Space Strategy which seeks a resilient, flexible, and healthy space industrial base – where the US industrial base can achieve competitive advantage.

ODNI’s Innovative Satellite Acquisition Study (ISAS) was conducted through collaboration with the space industry and with consideration of past successes, architectures and solutions by AFRL, and NASA. The primary goals are to:

Enhance Space Affordability for the U.S. government
Energize and foster a US Space Industrial Base that is robust and competitive
During 2011, ODNI reached out to a variety of space industry participants including: commercial space industry trade associations, prime contractors, commercial satellite operators Tier 2 and 3 manufacturers, and key government decision-makers overseeing a variety of federal and defense space programs. From discussions with industry as well as results from cost benefit analysis and economic models, the following key opportunity areas were identified where the USG can realize cost savings and efficiency gains over the next decade. This approach is called Space Universal Modular architecture or “SUMO”. SUMO focuses on data interfaces (including software interoperability) and electrical interfaces; to the extent practical, this effort will avoid definition of mechanical interfaces which could introduce significant weight, power and thermal penalties. SUMO includes the following “spirals”:
Universal Components—establish acquisition, testing & certification approach for parts materials and processes that envelop environments for space components.
Plug Side of SUMO—incorporate a standardized electrical & data interface into universal certified components. Create an adaptor device to convert between the standardized component output interface and the application-specific interface of a given satellite bus manufacturer.

Play Side of SUMO—eliminate the adaptor device. The bus interface must be standardized to accept the components.

The standards development process is the foundation for SUMO. ODNI will rely upon collaboration from industry and will work through a designated standards body, the Consultative Committee on Space Data Systems (CCSDS). SUMO intends to:

  • focus on modularity and interoperability to encourage both innovation and lower non-recurring engineering (NRE) costs for manufacturers;
  • leverage existing standards to the extent practical; and
  • become a global industry consensus standard (ISO).

Paper Number RS2013-2013-1005: Next Generation Space Interconnect Standard (NGSIS): A Modular Open Standards Approach for High Performance Interconnects for Space
Charles Collier (Space Communications/AFRL/RVSV)

The paper and presentation will describe the Next Generation Space Interconnect Standard (NGSIS) effort for the Reinventing Space community. This description covers the goals and objectives of the NGSIS effort, the composition of the NGSIS participants, the approach and roadmap being used for the NGSIS effort, and the current status. NGSIS is a Government-Industry collaboration effort to define a set of standards for interconnects between space system components with the goal of cost effectively removing bandwidth as a constraint for future space systems. Initial emphasis is on the standardization of internal connectivity at the electronic chassis level and interconnects between chasses. This includes the needs for high reliability but limited rate data needs typical for spacecraft command and data handling (C&DH), as well as high rate data needs expected for next generation, high performance mission payloads.

The architectural approach adopted for NGSIS development was to select several appropriate and proven industry standards as “points of departure” and then develop a set of extensions to these standards to address space industry specific needs. The intent of this approach is to reduce cost, risk and effort by using proven technologies while providing a set of common extensions that can be adopted across the space industry to enable interoperability of board level components from different sources and vendors.

The NGSIS team has selected the VITA VPX standard family for the physical baseline. VPX supports both 3U and 6U form factors with ruggedized and conduction cooled features suitable for use in extreme environments. Current efforts to develop the space specific extensions are being worked by establishment of an NGSIS Working Group (VITA 78) under the auspices of the VITA organization. The Serial RapidIO protocol has been selected as the basis for the digital data transport. The RapidIO uses an efficient, high performance packet switching architecture to provide an interconnect capability suitable for chip-to-chip and board-to-board communications. Data rates are scalable per lane up to a current maximum of 6 Gbps and allow aggregations of lanes into channels with capacities in excess of 60 Gbps, with a roadmap to higher rates in the future. Current efforts to develop the space specific extensions for improved reliability, robustness, and additional features desirable for space systems are being worked by establishment of the “Part S” working group by the RapidIO Trade Association as a collaborative effort with the NGSIS participants.

The efforts for the development of the space specific extensions are being pursued in a manner that will satisfy industry expectations and requirements imposed on space systems to satisfy the needs for system and mission assurance with minimal additional cost and effort by the users of the standards. Furthermore, the NGSIS standards are also being developed to provide sufficient flexibility to enable users to implement a variety of system configurations while meeting goals for interoperability and robustness for space.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-2005: Providing Resilience to Space Systems
Stuart Eves (Astrium)

The natural hazards and man-made risks to satellites are well known, and significant attempts have been made to quantify them; due in no small part to the increasingly important contribution that space systems make to the critical international infrastructure.

The paper attempts to summarise the various techniques that are available to enhance the resilience of satellites against these risks and hazards – commencing with concepts at the system level, and then considering progressively lower-level techniques including constellation concepts and specific technical hardware.

The paper also looks at the interdependencies between satellite systems, to better understand how a problem with one space system could lead to degradation in another.

The paper also considers the potential improvements in resilience that would be offered by an international system of “Space Traffic Control”, and what such a system might entail.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-2004: TerraSAR-X2 and SpaceDataHighway—Enabling Near-real-time Open Ocean Surveillance
David Gemroth (Astrium GMbh)

The presentation will demonstrate how Astrium GmbH through the combination of novel Earth observation and telecommunication technologies will create solutions for data latency and application areas that here-to-for have not been satisfactorily addressed. The combination of the next-generation radar satellite TerraSAR-X2 with the SpaceDataHighway will revolutionize the way we monitor and disseminate data. Each technology in its own right is game-changing and offers advanced capabilities to users worldwide, however the combination of the two provides the much-needed solution for a continuous, global Open Ocean and Port Surveillance in near-real-time.

TerraSAR-X2 is the follow-on mission of TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X providing long-term continuity with advanced capabilities. The TerraSAR-X2 mission will benefit from an advanced SAR sensor technology allowing among other things:

Ground resolution down to 25 cm (best possible: 15 cm)
Geo-location accuracy equal to resolution
Full polarimetry
Swath up to 400 km
Synchronous AIS signal collection
The improved data quality and collection capability provided by TerraSAR-X2 will come into its own right when combined with the SpaceDataHighway that provides accelerated access to spaceborne imagery and data from anywhere in the world. This constellation of geostationary satellites enables bi-directional high-speed data transfer from Low Earth Orbit satellites or UAVs and the ground. The unprecedented performance options for payload tasking and data download enabled by the SpaceDataHighway will make data available at the right time and the right place thus facilitating a near-real-time monitoring of the worlds oceans. The new generation optical laser communication terminal used on the SpaceDataHighway provides end-to-end data relay capabilities of 1.8 Gpbs. A laser terminal for use on UAVs is currently under production allowing UAVs to take advantage of forward tasking options and immediate broadband data transfer with a low probability of interception. Together these two systems inaugurate the first commercial global near-real-time Maritime Domain Surveillance Service capable of delivering actionable information in (less than) 20 minutes.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-3001: CubeSat Near Term Mission Integration
Keith Morris (Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company), Jessica Brown (Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company), Mark Wolfson (Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company)

Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company has been involved in developing space mission architectures for a wide range of missions from data collection, missile defense, communications, weather, science, among many others. We have developed spacecraft from small satellites to the large GEO satellites. This puts LM in a unique position to understand how CubeSats can augment the current architectures without over burdening the expectations of this small class of satellites. CubeSats are generally mass and power driven allowing for small payloads that cannot always mimic a traditional flight version, which limits the CubeSats ability to perform complex missions themselves. However, due to the low costs, short development timelines, and available hardware, CubeSats can supply very valuable benefits to these complex missions. Utilizing CubeSats for advanced focal plane demonstrations to support technology insertion into the next generation data collection architecture can help to lower risks before the complex sensors are developed. CubeSats can prove out specific proximity operations trajectories that can lower the overall risk to developing the larger servicing architecture. CubeSats can augment earth imaging systems by creating temporary constellations with more access to areas of interest. CubeSats can also supply this increased access at reduced timelines in comparison to traditional systems. With the current limited capability of CubeSats and their payloads, along with the launch constraints, the near term focus is to integrate into existing architectures by reducing technology risks, understanding unique phenomenology, and augment mission collection capability. Understanding the near term benefits of utilizing CubeSats will better inform the mission developers how to integrate CubeSats into the next generation of architectures from the start.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-6005: RS (Responsive/Reinventing Space) Systems for DMM (Disaster Monitoring & Management)
Stanislaw Lewinski (Earth Observation Group), Yoram Illan-Lipovsky (Earth Observation Group)

In recent years, the frequency and the damage of large-scale disasters (Earthquakes, giant fires, tsunami, floods, volcanos, avalanches etc.) increased significantly. It can be a result of several causes – natural, like the effects of climate change, or man-made like accidents, terrorism and wars.

It was found that it is possible to reduce the number of casualties and the extent of the damage disasters by taking the following measures:

Early detection and monitoring Integration and deployment of diverse sensors systems based on satellites, airplanes, UAVs and both mobile and stationary ground systems for the early detection and monitoring of the disasters development.

Advanced Integrated C4I crisis management system: The advanced Integrated C4I system will perform the overall coordination of the rescue operations. It will integrate three complex systems:

Command and Control Centre.
Risk Analysis Tool (to assess health risks to humans, livestock and infrastructure).
Decision Support and Fire Fighting Simulator Lab (to predict progression of the fire and the effectiveness of the active and passive countermeasures).
Advanced public emergency communication and information channels The Following issues will be analyzed and presented:

Estimates of the importance and the possible contribution of space assets to execute the tasks of disaster monitoring and management.
Estimate of the contribution of existing space assets to execute these tasks (Assuming that all relevant data will be gathered and comprehensive data fusion will be performed to establish the complete disaster picture).
Assessment of the option to use innovative RS systems for disaster monitoring and management.
Description of the relevant innovative RS systems, the integrated system architecture, the CONOPS and their contribution.

Cost-analysis of the benefit of using innovative RS space systems for the task compared with existing systems.
Conclusions and Recommendations.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-3004: Responsive and Affordable Methods for Hosted Payloads
Eric Petkus (Harris Corporation)

Increasing demands to reduce the costs and improve timeliness for space-based missions have led to new challenges and created new opportunities. In response to these new challenges, both commercial and government space industries have embraced hosted payloads as a way to minimize the costs associated with the development, launch and operations of space-based missions.

However, most hosted payload activities are focused on optimizing the design for a single mission or task, resulting in hosted payload efforts often repeating unnecessary design and support activities. This paper presents a baseline architecture and implementation that dramatically changes the way hosted and coincident hosted-hosted payloads can be quickly and cost effectively designed and deployed to achieve an assortment of space mission objectives from within the same physical payload. This architecture and existing suite of “tools” dramatically reduces the development timeline, enabling the synchronization of hosted payloads, (commercial and government) to commercial satellite build and launch tempos.

An overall block diagram of the hosted payload architecture is presented which shows how one to multiple missions can be accomplished within a single hosted payload. Enabling multiple hostedhosted payloads within a given physical chassis significantly reduces the cost of developing and deploying payloads. System designers and mission planners can focus on their specific missions and technologies, allowing the hosted payload to provide such accommodations as the enclosure, power supplies, data flow on and off the bus, and environmental protections. This allows for significant cost savings for individual missions since many common elements are provided as part of the overall hosted payload architecture.

These common elements include power, thermal dissipation, mission data and telemetry links (including encryption as required), and ground-based management and dissemination of the mission data. In conjunction with this novel shared payload architectural approach, examples show how onorbit shared power and throughput analyses are provided for each hosted payload. These analyses can be geographically, celestially, or on-orbit based, resulting in a comprehensive modeling of the expected on-orbit operations.

In addition to enabling a streamlined and cost effective architecture for custom built mission payload hardware, many missions will be able to take advantage of pre-existing digital and RF processing hardware and reprogrammable software environment provided by Harris’ AppSTAR™ system, thereby further reducing the upfront Non-Recurring Engineering (NRE) costs.

As the world leader in hosted payloads, Harris is building upon our reconfigurable payload expertise to develop and deliver over 81 hosted payloads as a key element of the Aireon™ global air traffic management enhancements onboard the Iridium NEXT constellation. Harris reconfigurable payload expertise is also demonstrated on the Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) Modular Space Vehicle (MSV) SARSat payload and the NASA high rate Ka-band Software Defined Radio (SDR), recently deployed and operating on the International Space Station.

The establishment of this hosted payload architecture, along with the development and production environments for such a high number of payloads creates a significant cost savings opportunity for space-based missions on hosted payloads that can take advantage of and/or leverage the work that has already been done.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-3005: PanelSAR—A “New Space” Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Instrument
Peter van Duijin (SSBV Aerospace & Technology Group)

This paper presents the background, capabilities and opportunities of a smallsat miniSAR, a novel and low-cost solution for SAR data from space.

Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) is generally considered one of the most powerful means for Earth Observation, thanks to the wide range of applications and associated downstream specialisations that can be deployed on the basis of SAR data. It is mainly associated with large, complex, expensive and primarily institutional or military satellites, due to its complexity and the resource demands (e.g. size, power, cost) imposed on a satellite for a SAR mission, it is not (yet) a commonplace sensor.

SSBV intends to break this belief with their smallsat miniSAR concept. Through a combination of proven airborne SAR technology, low-power SAR principles (FMCW / iFMCW) and the use of commercial as well as next generation space technology, a capable, yet affordable SAR sensor and an end-to-end smallsat-based solution are developed, under the name of PanelSAR.

The presented concept has been the subject of an extensive study carried out by SSBV in cooperation with a number of industrial and institutional partners, and is aimed at supporting different instrument and mission profiles, whilst maintaining a set cost and price range.

The PanelSAR development started in 2011, based on a combination of internal funding and the support from the Dutch National Technology programme. At present, the bench model of the PanelSAR technology demonstrator is being integrated, whilst a full space-borne flight demonstration is expected to take place in 2015.

PanelSAT, the smallsat platform under development for the PanelSAR operations, is based on a building block approach and provides flexibility and expandability. The overall size of the system is reduced but its performance is significantly improved. The cost of production, integration and testing of a satellite is lowered, without having a negative effect on the technical quality.

The adopted “new space” approach allows otherwise unexplored business opportunities (especially in a cost-aware and budget-constrained market) to materialise. This applies to the commercial, as well as institutional / governmental domain.

This paper presents a number of topics related to the PanelSAR development:

PanelSAR and the ‘new space’ approach
An overview of the background and capabilities of the miniSAR instrument
An overview of the main building blocks and the product-based approach
A presentation of the first Flight-Demonstration instrument
Development, Deployment and Commercialisation aspects
The SSBV Aerospace and Technology Group is a Dutch-headed group of SME’s with more than 27 years of experience in the space industry. Its portfolio covers a full scope of EGSE, TTC and High-Rate Ground Station Solutions, smallsat sensors and subsystems and, since 2011, the development of an X-Band miniSAR instrument suitable for smallsat deployment.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-4001: CubeSat High-impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System (CHAMPS) Product Line Development Status and Mission Applications
Christian Carpenter (Aerojet)

The DoD, NASA and commercial entities have an expressed need for micro-propulsion systems that enable CubeSats to access a wide range of missions. Aerojet has developed the CubeSat High-impulse Adaptable Modular Propulsion System (CHAMPS) product line to meet the propulsive needs of the CubeSat user community. The CHAMPS product line currently includes four products: MRS-141 cold gas system, MRS-142 hydrazine monopropellant system, MRS-143 AF-M315E monopropellant system, and MRS-144 direct drive electric propulsion system. Baseline systems range in size from 0.5U to 2U and the designs are generally scalable to 180kg class space vehicles such as ESPA node satellites. Because the CubeSat platform and community support a rapid development and flight environment with fewer constraints than large spacecraft, the CHAMPS product line has incorporated low TRL manufacturing and component technologies into the baseline designs that streamline manufacturing in order to meet aggressive mission schedule and cost thresholds. The configurations, development status, and mission applications of each CHAMPS product are discussed as well as the enabling low TRL manufacturing and component technologies that are incorporated into their designs.


Paper Number RS2013-2013-4003: The Case for Small and Medium Lift Capabilities
John Steinmeyer (Orbital Sciences Corporation), Warren Frick (Orbital Sciences Corporation), Mark Pieczynski (Orbital Sciences Corporation)

For many years since the emergence of U.S. launch capability, small and medium vehicles launched the majority of Government payloads, both military and civil. However, following the trend of the commercial industry in the late ‘90s and 2000’s, U.S. spacecraft, particularly military spacecraft, grew ever larger and more complex. U.S. launch vehicles similarly grew to meet the demands of these larger spacecraft. These spacecraft and the launch vehicle that support them provide tremendous capability to the U.S., and have executed significant scientific achievements. This capability has come at a high price, however.

In the current era of at best limited and likely declining budgets, the U.S. should reexamine its needs in this arena. While such complex systems are expensive, they are also vulnerable to hostile intent. The USAF, as well as other government agencies have rightly advocated a paradigm shift toward disaggregated space architectures, supported by networks of smaller spacecraft. Moreover NASA, who has a long exemplary record of executing significant scientific and exploration missions with small and medium spacecraft has similarly begun to reexamine the merits of smaller, dedicated missions. Such missions for both USAF and NASA are best supported by right-sized launch vehicles which can provide dedicated launch services for these small to medium spacecraft.

Orbital Sciences Corporation has a 30 year plus history of providing small to medium launch services for USG payload. Orbital manufactures a series of small to medium launch vehicles, including Pegasus, Taurus, Minotaur and our newest vehicle, Antares. This paper examines the capabilities of the Orbital launch vehicles, and the benefits of small to medium class lift capabilities.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-4004: Satellite Servicing as a Step Toward Space Logistics — Creation of a New US Industry
Jim Armor (ATK)

Manned and robotic satellite servicing technology has been repeatedly and successfully demonstrated over the past 20 years, including a remarkable series of Hubble Space Telescope repair missions. ATK has built on that legacy by making significant investments during the past 5 years, and capturing key government technology demonstration programs. Further, with partner US Space LLC, ViviSat has been founded to take the next steps towards commercialization of on-orbit servicing. Using fleet of Mission Extension Vehicles (MEVs), ViviSat’s first market step is to provide COMSAT life extension, orbital relocation, and hosted payload opportunities. Future steps add capabilities to the basic MEVs that enable robotic manipulation, refueling, repair, resupply and high power electric propulsion for transport services from LEO to GEO and beyond. Commercialization of satellite servicing transforms technology demonstration missions to routine and available capability to both private and government applications.

Current government servicing technology efforts include the innovative DARPA Phoenix program, and NASA’s Robotic Refueling Mission (RRM) and visionary Restore program supporting exploration of the Solar System. The DARPA Phoenix program, scheduled to launch in 2016, plans to demonstrate technologies that cooperatively harvest and re-use valuable components from retired, non-working satellites in GEO. Conducting technology demonstrations on the International Space Station (ISS) with RRM, NASA intends to use the subsequent Restore mission to demonstrate remote survey, relocation, refueling, repair and ORU replace. Together with NASA’s OCT high power Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) technology that enables efficient propulsion, technology base for space logistics is emerging.

Commercial COMSAT life extension market has been validated through discussions with satellite operators, and in-depth contractual discussions are underway. 10-15 satellites reach end-of-life (EOL) each year. Additionally, Euroconsult forecasts 203 commercial communications satellites (market value of $50 billion) will be launched into GEO over the next ten years. Beginning-of-life problems for new COMSATs statistically persist, i.e., Galaxy 15 (“Zombie Sat”), New Dawn, and AEHF, with historically one or two satellites experienced problems each year.

In developing the market, large commercial operators express the following concerns: (1) 3-4 year lag between signed contract to life extension service (2) unproven service vehicle operational capability, (3) potential interruptions in the COMSAT’s service, and (4) implicit delay in new COMSAT technology by prolonging use of their EOL birds. Despite these concerns, conspicuously multiple operators sought services “next year”.

In addition to life extension and hosted payload opportunities, several government organizations have queried the possibility of Active Debris Removal (ADR), a more complex orbit relocation mission. Overall, satellite servicing is rapidly becoming a commercially viable vector for reinventing space systems and operations.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-5001: Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) Space Communication Security (COMSEC) Developments
Capt. Cal Roman (AFRL Space Electronics Branch)

U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) spacecraft command uplink, telemetry downlink, and payload mission data downlink COMSEC is currently performed via dedicated, point to point, bulk encryption and decryption units. These systems operate in association with dedicated ground terminal COMSEC devices located in satellite operation centers (SOCs). The current spacecraft COMSEC systems have relatively poor SWaP-C specifications and are unable to be updated, patched, or reprogrammed post production.

Examination of mid-far term satellite system requirements reveals an increased emphasis on rapid worldwide data dissemination and multiple disparate users both tasking the space asset’s sensors and utilizing its mission data, all while utilizing the global information grid (GIG) for fast, anytime, and anywhere distributed operations. Also, the use of CubeSats has begun to move beyond the realm of the research and scientific community and into operational DoD assets with Secret or Top Secret COMSEC requirements that cannot be met with current size and power products.

The Air Force Research Lab’s Space Electronics Branch, in collaboration with the USAF’s Cryptologic Systems Division, the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Directorate (IAD), and the U.S. Navy’s SPAWAR, is conducting a series of space COMSEC development projects to bridge the capability gap between today’s space cryptography products and tomorrow’s “on the GIG” and low SWaP systems. This paper details four active space COMSEC developments: a High-Assurance IP Encryption (HAIPE) solution for larger spacecraft, a HAIPE card for CubeSats, a CubeSat COMSEC card which implements the AES-256 algorithm in “Structured ASIC” technology, and lastly a CubeSat COMSEC card which hosts the “Gryphon” ASIC (a National Security Agency certified AES-256 device).

Paper Number RS2013-2013-5003: Lessons Learned in Modular Bus Structure Development for the LADEE Mission
Eldon Kasl (Vanguard Space Technologies, Inc.)

In the pursuit of responsive and affordable space missions, government, commercial and military satellite manufacturers are developing new bus structures that can be built faster and for less money than traditional architectures. In 2008, NASA’s Ames Research Center—in collaboration with Goddard Spaceflight Center and Marshall Spaceflight Center—set out to design, build and launch the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE). A primary objective of the mission, and of the satellite structure itself, was to demonstrate a “low-cost, reusable, spacecraft bus architecture for future Planetary Science missions”.

Scheduled for launch in 2013, the LADEE spacecraft—along with its body-mounted solar and radiator panels—was manufactured, machined and assembled by Vanguard Space Technologies and delivered six weeks early. It features a state-of-the-art “modular common bus” design comprised of four monocoque modules, a propulsion structure (provided by SSL), internal cruciform panels, a radiator structural panel and 34 solar cell substrate panels. The spacecraft’s final mass is estimated to be 844 pounds (or 383 kilograms) and it will generate approximately 295 watts of power.

NASA and Vanguard collaborated on the design of the LADEE bus composite modules in order to perfect the architecture and ensure its success for future space missions. For example, initial modules were created using a single-cure cycle autoclave process. However, there was variability in the corner geometry. To correct this, NASA and Vanguard improved the fabrication process by developing an internal corner pressure intensifier solution to produce consistent, repeatable corner geometry. These pressure intensifiers, along with multiple cure cycle processes, were incorporated into the final bus structure design. This paper will provide an overview of LADEE’s unique three-dimensional sandwich bus structure modules. It will also include a number of lessons learned in the effort to manufacture a modular spacecraft bus architecture that can be produced quickly and, ultimately, reduce the cost of future spaceflight missions.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-5004: Aerospace Vehicle Scalable, Modular, and Reconfigurable Technologies to Bring Innovation and Affordability
Edmund Burke (Space Information Laboratories), Marty Waldman (Space Information Laboratories)

The Space Information Laboratories (SIL) Intelli-Avionics® and Intelli-Pack® battery technologies are being developed and manufactured to eliminate the Aerospace “Black Box Syndrome”. What is the Aerospace “Black Box Syndrome”, and why does it continue in many aerospace applications? In last few decades, many Aerospace companies designed and manufactured hardware/software engineering systems to meet a specific requirement but many of these systems do not have the virtues of being scalable, modular, intelligent and/or reconfigurable to meet new and evolving requirements. Yes, they work but the cost is generally too high and not easily upgradable once they are manufactured for a specific application. In the current economic environment in the United States, reinventing Aerospace to eliminate the “Aerospace Black Box Syndrome” must become a system engineering challenge to all prime contractors and technology suppliers for use on current and future Aerospace vehicle systems. The Aerospace vehicles (missiles, launch vehicles, satellite, UAS and aircraft) subsequently have many separate black boxes that cannot be upgraded without a complete redesign in many cases to meet additional engineering requirements. This unnecessary and costly reality in the DOD, NASA and Aerospace industry requires customers to pay for engineering redesign and full Space Qualification testing for many black boxes.

With great advancement in processor, communication, FPGA, digital signal processing, power and microwave electronics in the 21st century, the “Black Box Syndrome” paradigm in Aerospace can be changed so more advanced requirements can be accomplished with upgradeable and flexible engineering systems, thus greatly reducing cost (1/10) for development and life-cycle logistics. There is no reason that the many black boxes being flown on Aerospace vehicles cannot also be combined into fewer black box units (C&DH, TT&C, Sensor and Power subsystems in Aerospace vehicles). By reducing the number black boxes that need to be Space qualified for future Aerospace vehicles, the engineering development/upgrade cost will be reduced greatly. This technical paper will highlight system engineering and design approaches to bring innovation and affordability for multiple Aerospace vehicles, and DOD/NASA Ranges (WR, ER, PMRF, NASA Wallops, etc.).

Paper Number RS2013-2013-4006: FANTM-RiDE™—Dramatically Increasing Rideshare Opportunities thru Transparent Solutions
Daniel Lim (TriSept Corporation), Joseph Maly (Moog CSA Engineering)

In last year’s paper, TriSept presented a candid look at barriers to making rideshare a regular part of the US space industry. It presented four solutions to help realize the vision of making frequent rideshare a reality for US missions: A single mission integrator, launch brokering, established teaming relationships, and shaping industry perspectives/expectations. That paper described a pervasive perception of risk and complexity of ridesharing as the source of the reluctance of launch vehicle (LV) and Primary space vehicle (SV) providers to readily adopt rideshare for their missions. TriSept’s FANTM-RiDE™ system presents the rideshare community a comprehensive answer to directly address the issues that dissuade LV and Primary SV providers from embracing rideshare by presenting a solution that becomes virtually transparent to both parties. This paper presents how transparency to these two providers is one of the keys to making rideshare commonplace in the US space industry, and it describes how the FANTM-RiDE™ system brings true transparency to encourage regular ridesharing.

FANTM-RiDE™ accomplishes transparency through a solution forged from the perspective of the mission integrator, i.e., viewing the rideshare issues common to LV provider, Primary SV, and small satellite providers from the unique vantage point of being the interface between all three communities. This system provides “phantom-like” transparency to the LV and SV Primes through a set of technical, programmatic and integration solutions, such as containerization of rideshares up to ESPA-class satellites, mass tuning to manipulate dispenser mass properties to drive only a single set of analyses (e.g., Coupled Loads), minimal LV interfaces and requirements, complete end-to-end integration, and launch brokering. FANTM-RiDE™ is more than a hardware solution; it is also a comprehensive “conception to orbit” response to the needs of the rideshare community to break through barriers that prevent rideshare from being regularly employed.

FANTM-RiDE™ will create an environment to optimize the use of available mass and payload fairing margins on US missions. TriSept is teaming with Moog CSA to combine their world-renown hardware development, analysis, and test expertise, especially in structures, mass tuning and damping, with TriSept’s veteran mission integration experience to bring a solution that will enable rideshare to be a common occurrence for US launches.


Paper Number RS2013-2013-6001: Reinventing Disaster Reconnaissance through Space Assets
Christianna Taylor (Microcosm, Inc.)

When a disaster occurs, an aggressive machine of governments, agencies, and volunteers immediately reacts to the event with a lack of information. Currently, agencies rely on unstable communications, perhaps UAV passes (which may be politically limited), or, hours later, space assets. Worker may be dispatched without fully understanding the extent of the damage to roads, buildings, or infrastructure at a risk to the safety of both the affected community and their volunteers. Imagine launching a satellite that, within hours, provides clear pictures, communication, sensor readings, and information to volunteers/troops identifying the most afflicted regions.

This paper will present the disaster criteria to effectively utilize space assets, propose constellation architecture that can effectively give accurate information within hours and compare and contrast the cost effective practices of utilizing space for recent real natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis or earthquakes. Such architecture must focus on common disaster areas. It is not beneficial to create a responsive asset that covers the whole world when a specific range is required. The orbit must provide repeat coverage that would easily be accessible to the ground support team. Prior studies by Microcosm show that a 6 satellite constellation can give coverage every 25 minutes at a 10 degree inclination at the Equator.

The low-cost mentality must be applied to justify the expense. Low-cost will not do anything unless it is immediately responsive to the current disaster. It does the afflicted communities no good to have a satellite launched 2 months after an event has happened. This timeframe is affected by lead times to integrate spacecraft parts and payloads as well as get through the regulation required to launch. The concept focuses largely on the launch on demand aspect with spacecraft that are built to inventory. Ideally we imagine the spacecraft to be below $5M for spacecraft, launch vehicle, and operations costs for a baseline mission of several months extendable up to 2 years, providing sub-meter resolution. Instead of building assets that last years, this system will last weeks to months to reduce propellant mass below a few km/s and cost. Spacecraft can fly in a low orbit to easily dispose of the spacecraft at the end of life.

There are certainly challenges to rapid space asset utilization for disaster relief such as launch vehicle availability; however, providing a low-cost option for disaster relief can significantly change how we utilize space. Existing satellites and launch vehicles are in the works to fulfill these architectural needs. However, there are certain requirements that must be defined specifically for disaster relief, such as schedule, payload, and cost. Existing orbit assets are not always available at the locations and times, when and where, you need them. Closing this gap will not only lower the cost to respond to disasters, but save lives.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-6003: Affordable Smartsats — Multi-Billion Dollar Mission Value
Howard Eller (Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation)

This paper addresses a family of architectures that utilize small, low-cost, but highly capable spacecraft, here defined as AffordaSats to provide Billions of Dollars of mission value for government and commercial customers at dramatically reduced cost. Low cost but high mission performing AffordaSats are needed for constellations providing full spectrum All-The-World-All-The-Time (ATWATT) phenomenology that deliver needed high value products and services. These architectures could provide government customers with robust global situational awareness to disincentive aggressive space or terrestrial actions, by ensuring that hostel action cannot be conducted in the blind. The resolutions of these systems can be such that they can observe national and commercial activity without impacting personal privacy. Commercially these systems can provide near-continuous space based for agricultural monitoring, legal and environmental protection and personal safety and convenience. The enabling elements for these systems are either available or on the horizon. What is needed is a general understanding of the utility that these systems provide, the governmental and regulatory changes that are needed to enable these systems, the space elements needed to achieve these systems and the commercial opportunities these systems afford.

Smallsat ATWATT Constellations Shells of low-cost LEO spacecraft, with spacecraft close enough to provide continuous access to the entire world can also provide continuous vehicle-to-vehicle self-relay to anywhere on Earth. A complete LEO shell could therefore provide the equivalent of TDRS like connectivity to every spacecraft in the architecture. Once one of these systems is in orbit it is possible for many one of a kind spacecraft to be added to this in-space comm network, simplifying many spacecraft’s comm loads and reducing their cost. An on-orbit comm system like this can standardize communication frequencies and protocols, removing one of the most costly aspects of spacecraft production, unique comm systems, and leverage cell phone like comm/relay hardware to simplify spacecraft design and reduce cost. Low-cost launch, automated command and control, and pushed data products can dramatically reduce AffordaSat costs and integrate the space based data products into our national, corporate and personal lives. Launching entire planes on a single launch or multiple planes per launch vehicle with small Electric Propulsion modules allow a few launches to inject an entire shell. Launching spacecraft from several different systems and shells on the same launch vehicle could allow just three launches to fully populate as many as three different shells in a very short time span.

Elements to be addressed in this paper are: launch, spacecraft insertion, spacecraft design, command and control, relay networks, EO, SAR and Comm services and an example complete multi-service, multi-altitude super-constellation.

Paper Number RS2013-2013-A002: Complying with the ITAR
Harriet Aldava (Security and Safety Consultant)

Paper Number RS2013-2013-A003: Changing Business Environment for Future Space Exploration
Lt Gen Larry James (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory)