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Development of a Ground Segment Software for microsatellite operations

Simone Gallo

Development of a Ground Segment Software for microsatellite operations.

Rel. Luca Sterpone, Biagio Cotugno. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Informatica (Computer Engineering), 2021

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In recent years outer space is increasingly becoming more accessible, as the costs necessary to launch objects in low orbit or even beyond is significantly lower than ever before. One of the factors that contributed to this trend is the development of microsatellites and particularly CubeSats. CubeSats are becoming more and more prevalent in the space industry as they can be used for primary missions thanks to the improvement of technology which allows for the implementation many functionalities in smaller volumes, but most significantly they can act as support satellites for bigger missions resulting relatively easy to carry and deploy. One of the main examples is the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission that will demonstrate the kinetic effects of crashing an impactor spacecraft on the surface of an asteroid for planetary defense purposes. The DART spacecraft will also carry a secondary spacecraft called LICIACube, a 6U (unit) satellite that will separate from the main spacecraft 10 days before the impact to acquire images of the impact and ejecta plume as it fly-bys past the asteroid. Despite being relatively small with respect to regular satellites the ground segment required in order to send commands and receive telemetry for the CubeSats is the same. The scope of this master’s thesis is to develop a ground segment software for the Argotec's Mission Control Center (MCC). Although Argotec already uses a main mission control software, it has been decided to implement a tailored software devoted to telemetry retrieval and display in order to include new functionalities not present in the main MCS. A preliminary study of the telemetry structure and network architecture of the company have been conducted by the author of this thesis together with the Flight Control Team (FCT) of Argotec. Then the software requirements have been identified taking in account possible use cases of the MCS and the possibility of working seamlessly with other company's software like the Mission Planning Tool (MPT). Subsequently, a security study has been carried out to guarantee user authentication and data access policies depending on the user clearance. In the end, an extensive campaign of system validation tests has been performed. The project definition, the analysis of requirements, the system development and testing are here presented, together with a final assessment for future improvements. Furthermore, in this document the Ground Segment Software will also be referred as Margot (Multianalysis And Real-time Ground Operations Tool).

Relators: Luca Sterpone, Biagio Cotugno
Academic year: 2021/22
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 57
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Informatica (Computer Engineering)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-32 - COMPUTER SYSTEMS ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Argotec srl
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/21297
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