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Analysis, validation and deployment of the Ground Segment Engineering Framework for aerospace

Fabrizio Mancino

Analysis, validation and deployment of the Ground Segment Engineering Framework for aerospace.

Rel. Massimo Violante. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica), 2021


Space mission ground segments are composed of a large number of individual systems and sub-systems that are designed to work together via interfaces. The development of a mission operations ground segment is a complex systems engineering activity that follows applicable standards and best practices. It is interconnected with other system developments, such as that of the space segment or the science ground segment. The overall goal of the engineering activity is to design, integrate, verify and validate all of these, in order to satisfy the provided mission requirements of the operations ground segment, in the scope of the mission. Moreover, as design teams are becoming more globally integrated, one of the biggest challenges is to enable efficient communication across the team. The increasing complexity and multi-disciplinary nature of the products are also making it difficult to keep track of all the information generated during the design process by these global team members. The approach currently in place, operationally is very document-centric i.e. extensively based on documents and document reviews. Documents easily suffer from redundant and often inconsistent contents as the system development life-cycle progresses. This makes it difficult, for example, to trace requirements, to visualize the architectural design or to ensure compatible interfaces. Tools currently in use at European Space Agency (ESA) are not well integrated and form islands of data that may not be consistent with one another. System engineers have identified Model-based Systems Engineering (MBSE) as a possible solution where emphasis is placed on the application of visual modelling methods and best practices to systems engineering (SE) activities right from the beginning of the conceptual design phases through to the end of the product life-cycle. The main issues preventing its introduction are of technical and infrastructure nature. The formalism required for modelling needs to be accessible and natural for systems engineers, while powerful enough to capture the required level of complexity. Furthermore, the steep learning curve, prevents engineers from accepting the introduction of a 'change', including training of the practitioners. A number of Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) products were evaluated prior to developing a custom tool, but the necessity to have highlighted pivot functionalities all-in-one integrated solution, determined the need to build a tailored framework, that suited specifically to the requirements, being "as simple as possible, as complex as necessary". Paper-Less Ground Segment Engineering (PLGSE) study, focused on both development of the Ground Segment Engineering Framework (GSEF) prototype and demonstration of the benefits of Model-Based System Engineering (MBSE) approach for ground segment system engineering. In conclusion, the main activity performed at ESA covered the acceptance, testing and validation of the GSEF prototype, as well as its deployment in real mission operational scenarios. During the internship, operational along with theoretical objectives has been achieved, contributing to the main activity goals. In particular, document templates development for EUCLID and PLATO Missions has been covered. Moreover, an analysis on the underlying data-model of GSEF, compared with the standard ESA SysML toolbox has been conducted, highlighting possible valuable improvements for the Advanced Digital Ground Segment Engineering.

Relators: Massimo Violante
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 114
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-25 - AUTOMATION ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: ESA/ESOC European Space Operation Center
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/18265
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