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COLUMBUS OPERATIONS AS LONG-TERM MANNED SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE

Uhlig, Thomas (2012) COLUMBUS OPERATIONS AS LONG-TERM MANNED SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE. European Mars Conference 2012, 12.-14. Okt. 2012, München.

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Abstract

The Columbus Control Center (Col-CC) situated at the DLR premises in Oberpfaffenhofen/Germany has in the meantime gathered more than four years of experience as an operational control center in the International Space Station (ISS) community. A Flight Control Team consisting of four core and several assisting positions is monitoring and commanding the European contribution to the ISS, the Columbus laboratory, 24/7 and is supporting the Astronauts in their work to maintain (and repair, if required) the spacecraft’s subsystems and payloads, and in performing science inside the module. The cooperation between ground support stations and the astronauts on board is based on a radio link which is normally almost permanently established between the ISS mission control centers and the space segment. The geostationary U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) system is used as main means to transfer data via NASA’s White Sands (New Mexico) ground station to the space station and vice versa. Two frequency channels (S- and Ku-band) are available for that purpose and provide communication paths with delays in the 100 millisecond regime. In addition the other international ISS partners supply own radio links, which serve partially as backup communication capability in case of a breakdown of the TDRS connection. In addition to the telemetry data, which allows a determination of the health status of the different space station subsystems, four video channels are available for downlink, which can be fed by one of the numerous on-board cameras. A dedicated band width is also allocated for science data transfer as well as for two space-to-ground voice links, which are used for verbal communications with the crew. Telecommands can be used to command the station and its payloads. The operational setup for the space station and the Columbus module, respectively, is designed using these communications features as one of the most important concept definition drivers. In each control center a Ground Controller (GC) team ensures the proper handling of the data traffic with ISS. All flight controllers have on their consoles access to the health and status data of the vehicle and to the video channels. Also the voice communication paths with the station are accessible for everybody for monitoring, only one dedicated spacecraft communicator position per control center has talk access as well. The team is led by a Flight Director at each center, who has the final responsibility for all operational decisions. This lecture will present the operations concept implemented at Col-CC as a model for a low-orbit, long-duration manned space mission. The concept will be related to the features and capabilities of the ISS communication assets, and consequences of a changed communnication means, i.e. for a human Mars project will be highlighted.

Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:COLUMBUS OPERATIONS AS LONG-TERM MANNED SPACEFLIGHT EXPERIENCE
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Uhlig, ThomasThomas.uhlig@dlr.de
Date:2012
Status:Published
Keywords:Operations
Event Title:European Mars Conference 2012
Event Location:München
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:12.-14. Okt. 2012
Organizer:European Mars Society
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:other
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R - no assignement
DLR - Research theme (Project):R -- no assignement
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > Missions- Betrieb
Deposited By: Thomas Uhlig
Deposited On:16 Oct 2012 15:01
Last Modified:16 Oct 2012 15:03

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