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Supporting Launchers with conventional Satellite Ground Stations: A New Functionality for the Antarctic station GARS O'Higgins

Lagadrilliere, Pierre-Alexis and Riffel, Frank and Reissig, Ralf (2021) Supporting Launchers with conventional Satellite Ground Stations: A New Functionality for the Antarctic station GARS O'Higgins. International Astronautical Congress, 2021-10-25 - 2021-10-29, Dubai, UAE.

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The German Aerospace Centre (DLR) operates the German Antarctic Research Station (GARS) O'Higgins since 1991. The station is located on the Antarctic Peninsula and used as a satellite ground station, as well as a radio telescope for providing VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometry) measurements. DLR provides the classical portfolio of satellite services to polar orbiting spacecrafts: Telemetry, Tracking, and Command (TTC) services, LEOP supports and payload data reception services. Virgin Orbit develops the unique LauncherOne small satellite launch vehicle. Launcher One is dropped from an aircraft flying at a high altitude. The concept aims to provide more flexibility to its customers. After a first launch attempt on May 20th 2020, it proved successful with the launch of January 17th 2021. Virgin Orbit approached DLR in 2019 to evaluate the capabilities of O'Higgins to support their maiden flight. This paper describes the tasks undertaken for supporting Launcher One. Tasks encompass verification of the antenna constraints, RF (Radio Frequency) compatibility tests, station and mission control configuration, strategy development for increasing station systems reactivity, and tailoring of telemetry recording for launcher events. A cost analysis of these new features will be presented. In addition, the station auto-tracking capability was upgraded. It adapts to high variations of signal strengths. Another key change was the introduction of CCSDS OEM (orbit ephemeris message) tracking capability. In contrast to conventional TLE (Two Line Element) based tracking the new data format allows to describe manoeuvres. An overview highlighting interests of OEM based and TLE based tracking for various scenarios is included. Finally, we will present the results and insights gained as launcher support station during the two Virgin Orbit launch events.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/144286/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Supporting Launchers with conventional Satellite Ground Stations: A New Functionality for the Antarctic station GARS O'Higgins
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Date:26 October 2021
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:DLR, Virgin Orbit, LauncherOne, GARS, Antarctica
Event Title:International Astronautical Congress
Event Location:Dubai, UAE
Event Type:international Conference
Event Start Date:25 October 2021
Event End Date:29 October 2021
Organizer:International Astronautical Federation
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - GARS O'Higgins
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:German Remote Sensing Data Center > International Ground Segment
Deposited By: Lagadrilliere, Pierre-Alexis
Deposited On:05 Oct 2021 11:02
Last Modified:24 Apr 2024 20:43

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