GSTT – GMSPAZIO Satellite Tracking Toolkit

Worldwide satellite operators keep under control space around the Earth to locate, track, identify and evaluate threats affecting orbiting assets safety and their performances.

Many important programs are trying to find a standard solution to this issue, but costs and time are big constraints to face with.

GSTT has been designed and delivered by GMSPAZIO to fill the gap between user needs and easy to use solutions, helping end-users to manage potentially dangerous issues, dramatically reducing costs and delivery time, using its Planning, Scheduling, Acquisition, and Data Processing features.

Steering a satellite platform to a safe position to avoid collisions and improve performances is the main target for any satellite mission control centre operator.

Unfortunately space around the Earth is becoming every day more crowded and any movement need requires precise pre and post manoeuvres measurements to limit damages, potentially disruptive for the entire mission lifecycle.

The first user requirement has been thus identified as the need to have precise measurements of “my asset position” in the space, along the time.

Doing that is not so easy, because of resources involved and on-board energy saving needs, thus very often gathered data are in form of statistical data, and their effective evaluation requires a bunch of downloads to become a consolidated data set usable for reliable estimate.

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Any subsequent operation must wait these feedbacks to proceed further, and consequently risks grow and the probability of unexpected collisions rises up.

The second user requirement to be satisfied is related to the capability to process measured data to obtain a precise forecast of “where will my satellite be at a certain time in the future”. It seems to be a simple process but space scientists spent many days and nights of work to find good and acceptable solutions to solve this issue spending a lot of energy and time.

Another need is related to the possibility to carefully evaluate proximity position data to estimate reaction time and manoeuvres entity on the way to save resources and avoid undesired damages.

Last but not least the capability to exchange data in standard formats between different data sources & destinations is one of the main opportunities to be reactive and possibly also proactive in SSA activities.

GSTT architecture, summarized in the picture below, has been designed to offer a “plug-and-play” fully customizable interface approach to end-users interested to be accurate, reactive and effective, approaching new solutions while preserving previous investments.

GSTT software interacts with third party products using standard ICT and ASCOM protocols working over TCP/IP network to control local and remote measurement and observation sites.

Briefly, GSTT software offers the capability to:

  • plan measurement/imaging activities along the time
  • schedule activity plans and de-conflicting overlaps
  • ingest multiple input source data (remote sensed data, telemetry, images, etc.)
  • automatically process and standardize input data
  • produce measured orbital position data
  • propagate orbital position data
  • evaluate collision probability

GSTT cooperates with AGI-STK™ software suite, from Analytical Graphics, Inc. (USA), to ingest, evaluate and calculate all the space/time dependent information useful to plan tracking and measurements. Time series of digital observation images are processed by GSTT software to extract orbital positions, passed to AGI ODTK™, from Analytical Graphics, Inc. (USA), to process gathered data exploiting its features: Optimum sequential filter and fixed interval smoother, Realistic error covariance, Autonomous measurement editor, Tracking data simulator, Simultaneous satellite estimation, High-fidelity orbit propagation, Time-varying biases, Dynamic atmospheric density correction. AGI STK™ CAT – Conjunction Analysis Tool, is then used to go deeper into threat analysis and further improve Mission Control Center operation decisions.

GSTT offers the capability to employ its sensors and a network of commercial sensors using these measurements together to locate, track, and predict movements of space objects. Its incredible precision (around tenths of meters) is feasible due the combination of GMSPAZIO software tools and advancements in high effective commercial sensing technologies, offering unparalleled accuracy and high degree of certainty to obtain the best avoidance prediction and enable near real time maneuvers’ detection

GSTT offers reliable and cost-effective SSA/SST capabilities to satellite operators to avoid collisions in LEO, MEO and GEO orbits, by integrating and processing data from multiple sources (radar, telescope observations, IR, RF), thus increasing precision.

AGI technology have been chosen, as a foundation of this project, due its long-term reliable presence in the Aerospace market, offering to end-users thousands of features able to satisfy the most complex data processing needs for modelling assets behaviours over space and time.

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Project Description

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GSTT has been built to assist customers in analysing collision avoidance risks managing satellite mission.

GSTT is the integrated system able to allow the cooperation of several heterogeneous SSA/SST Systems devoted to Space Surveillance & Tracking, and Space Situational Awareness operations.

Project Details

Date January 02, 2017
Categories Space

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