A common ground system for military satellites is proving to be harder than envisioned

House Power satellite tv for pc operators wish to transfer away from having totally different floor methods for every navy constellation

WASHINGTON — The House Power set a objective to exchange custom-built floor stations with a standard system that can be utilized with a number of kinds of satellites. However the effort is working into roadblocks because of the technical and administration challenges of integrating satellites with a brand new floor structure, House Techniques Command official  Claire Leon stated July 14.

“The enterprise floor progress has not been as nice as now we have wished it to be. So we try to determine what the imaginative and prescient is, what each program is doing and find out how to convey all that collectively,” stated Leon, who’s the director of the House Techniques Integration Workplace on the House Techniques Command.

Talking at a Nationwide Safety House Affiliation on-line discussion board, Leon talked about satellite tv for pc floor methods as one of many high challenges for her workplace, which was lately established by SSC Commander Lt. Gen. Michael Guetlein to assist convey cohesion to house packages which were managed in silos. 

A transfer away from custom-made floor methods has been strongly advocated by senior Air Power officers who argue that constellations of missile-warning, communication, climate and GPS satellites needs to be operated on the bottom utilizing frequent requirements to save cash and simplify operators’ coaching. 

Leon stated the House Operations Command, which oversees satellite tv for pc operations, continues to push for a shift to a standard floor system however there’s nonetheless a variety of work to be carried out. 

House Techniques Command lately held a two-day workshop on enterprise floor, Leon stated. “There’s been a mandate to transition to an enterprise floor system and get away from ‘each program sort of doing their very own factor’ with respect to floor.” 

Want for ‘governance course of’

A key barrier to the adoption of EGS is that the House Power lacks a “governance course of” for integrating software program onto a {hardware} platform and for deciding what mission distinctive software program needs to be developed by contractors, and the way it needs to be built-in, she stated. “The demand sign popping out of the workshop is that we have to work tougher on governance and interfaces to allow packages to be extra profitable.”

“The mandate is absolutely to deal with the considerations of SPOC [Space Operations Command] and do a greater job at not having 50 totally different floor methods that look totally different to operators,” stated Leon.

One other problem is determining a sensible schedule and timeline, she stated. “We will’t transition the whole lot abruptly. So what packages are extra vital to deal with close to time period and what ones are extra vital to deal with long run?”

Leon famous that there are a number of items to enterprise floor companies — like antenna as a service, or flight dynamics — and making an attempt to deal with all of them throughout many packages is impractical. “So then once more, which of them do you wish to do first, as a result of you possibly can’t do the whole lot abruptly.”

One other objective of EGS is placing methods in place which are simpler to take care of and don’t tie the House Power to a selected contractor so there’s extra flexibility, stated Leon.

The push for a standard floor system started in 2018 with a memo signed by then Air Power House Command Commander Gen. John Raymond, declaring EGS the “frequent platform to execute satellite tv for pc operations for tactical command and management of house property.” To make sure info might be shared, EGS would require “machine to machine exchanges” in all floor methods. In addition they should use common messaging requirements.”

The primary EGS prototype was developed by Parsons as a set of satellite tv for pc command-and-control companies that makes use of open requirements and a standard platform to function totally different constellations.

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