FAS | Space | Military | Programs | Support |||| Index | Search | Join



GROUND SUPPORT

The Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN) is designed to have the flexibility to support a wide spectrum of orbiting satellites. A large number of satellites with various altitudes and orbit inclinations are supported on a 24-hour per day, 7-day a week schedule. In addition to the primary support provided to the Department of Defense (DOD), the AFSCN also provides services for non-DOD organizations, including NASA, and US sponsored programs of foreign governments.

The AFSCN consists of Mission Control Complexes (MCCs), Remote Tracking Stations (RTSs), Automated Remote Tracking Stations (ARTSs), and test facilities, located around the world. These personnel, equipment, and facilities of the AFSCN are used to accomplish satellite maintenance. However, these resources are not responsible for the payload data received from the various programs, and do not directly interface with the program users. The resources are there to maintain the satellite in the optimum orbit for mission accomplishment and to ensure the vehicle and payload are performing as designed.

The AFSCN accomplishes its assigned mission by tracking data generation, telemetry monitoring, commanding, and testing.

Tracking Data Generation -- Tracking Data is the range, range rate, azimuth, and elevation angles with a time tag received from the Remote Tracking Stations (RTS). This data is used to determine the position of the satellite in its orbit.

Telemetry Monitoring -- The crew monitors the telemetry data from the satellites. From this data, the health of the vehicle's various subsystems/sensors can be determined.

Commanding -- The crew sends commands to the satellite to operate/configure it. These commands can either be executed in realtime or can be stored by the vehicle for execution at a specified time.

Testing -- Some communications and navigation satellites require extensive measurement, testing, and calibration while in orbit. This procedure is normally performed soon after launch during early orbit testing; however, it can also be done throughout the life or even at the end of life for data collection/trouble shooting purposes. The information gathered in this method can be used to improve future spacecraft.

A - Air Force

35110F Satellite Control Network(1)

Funds the development, acquisition, and continuing support to a highly reliable national satellite tracking, telemetry, and commanding capability in support of developmental and operational satellite systems. The AFSCN is a global network of communications and computer systems required to support a growing inventory of increasingly complex space vehicles which support operational forces in peace and wartime. The AFSCN must continue to be responsive to the requirements of the satellite systems it supports.

The AFSCN is a global network of communications and computer systems that control the growing inventory of increasingly complex national security space vehicles. The AFSCN project funds the development, acquisitions, and sustaining engineering needed to continue the evolution of this highly reliable national satellite tracking, telemetry and commanding capability to meet the requirements of the developmental and operational satellite systems it supports. The ARTS develops, procures, and installs advanced satellite command and control systems to increase AFSCN operational capability. ARTS equipment provides improved Tracking, Telemetry, and Commanding (TT&C) performance and reliability, lower life cycle costs associated with operations, reduces manpower required to support the AFSCN, and improves the interoperability/commonality with other satellite control networks. The ISCS project provides the architectural framework for an incremental evolution of DOD satellites, launch, and ground control systems. ISCS provides the ground control engineering effort needed to transition the AFSCN toward an integrated, interoperable, distributed, and cost-effective capability necessary to simplify operations, reduce life cycle costs, and perform operations even in non-nominal operations scenarios.

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to the following: Headquarters, AFSCF, Detachment 1, AFSCF, 6594th Support Group, 6594th Test Group, 6593rd Instrumentation Squadron, 6594th Instrumentation Squadron, 6596th Instrumentation Squadron, OL 1, AFSCF, OL 2, AFSCF, OL 5, AFSCF, OL 9, AFSCF, OL 10, AFSCF. Excludes Communications Satellite terminals; DCS and non-DCS communications resources (PE 35151F); and communications security equipment (PE 33401F).

In-house efforts will be accomplished by the AF Material Command Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, CA. Principal contractors are: Loral Space & Range Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, provides study and development analysis for the range facilities and communications; Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA, provides general system engineering and integration support; Space Applications Corporation, San Jose, CA, provides system engineering integration and test analysis (Small Business Set-Aside); Loral Space & Range Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, provides ARTS development and acquisition.

Project 3186. Automated Remote Tracking Station (ARTS):Develops, procures, and installs advanced satellite command and control systems to increase AFSCN operational capability. ARTS Acquisition Phase II modifies the ARTS full scale development design to meet new requirements, replaces and upgrades non-ARTS AFSCN tracking stations, provides two Transportable Vehicle Checkout Facilities (TVCF), and retrofits the initial four development sites.

In-house efforts are accomplished by the AF Material Command Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, CA. Principal contractors are: Loral Space & Range Systems, Sunnyvale, CA, provides general system engineering and integration support; Space Applications Corporation, San Jose, CA, provides system engineering integration and test analysis.

Project 4045. Integrated Satellite Control System (ISCS): ISCS & Integrated Satellite Control (ISC) encompass launch, programs integral to launch, individual satellite programs, and space support systems. Part of the Space Support Program, the validated Air Force requirements were identified in a Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) approved ISCS MROC, and again in the Air Force ISC ,MNS. The system engineering and technology development project was initiated in FY 92, but funding was delayed pending completion of an FY 93 study under a separate program element This project will use the product of the FY 93 study to lead the evolution of existing DoD satellites and their control systems (including the AFSCN). A significant deficiency identified during Desert Storm was the lack of interoperability between independent satellite control systems which hindered or impacted the timeliness of mission data and its contribution to our war-fighting capability. This approach will consolidate networks, integrate capabilities, and incorporate a standard of interoperability. It will result in improved responsiveness, operational efficiencies, and cost savings. If not funded, the ability of DoD space systems to support the war-fighter will remain deficient, independent (and non-interoperable) control systems will continue, and total costs will continue to rise if capabilities are to be maintained. Additionally, there are windows of opportunity within several new or block-change satellite programs and ground system enhancements which may be lost if funding is further delayed.

In house efforts are accomplished by the Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), Los Angeles, CA. Study, engineering, and development analysis will be provided by SMC planning and engineering support contractors (undetermined pending re-competition).

35130F Consolidated Space Operations Center CSOC(2)

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to the Consolidated Space apparitions Center. The CSOC will perform both Shuttle operations and planning functions for DoD Shuttle launch activities and satellite control functions for conducting on-orbit operations of DoD spacecraft. The satellite operations will be an integral part of the Satellite Control Facility and the Shuttle element will provide dedicated facility for conducting DoD operations in a secure environment. The PE includes development and acquisition of technical equipment, computer systems, software and mission control centers, as well as MlLCON for facility construction. Excludes COMSEC equipment and DCA SATCOM terminals.

35151F Satellite Control Facility Leased Communications(3)

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to DCS and non-DCS communications resources in support of the mission of the Satellite Control Facility and Its subordinate organizations and operating locations. Includes resources for procurement, construction and operations. Excludes DCS Switched Network Support (see PE 3311OF). (see PE 33112F end 33126F); and Defense Satellite Communications System.

35351F Satellite Control Facility Communications

Includes personnel authorizations, peculiar and support equipment, necessary facilities and the associated costs specifically identified and measurable to DCS and non-DCS communications resources in support of the mission of the Satellite Control Facility and Its subordinate organizations and operating locations. Includes resources for procurement, construction and operations.


References

1. Department of the Air Force, Supporting Data for Fiscal Year 1994, Budget Estimate Submission: Descriptive Summaries, Research, Development, Test & Evaluation, April 1993, page 127.

2. 2 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), The Five Year Defense Program; Book 1 FYDP Program Structure, DoD 7045.7-H, August 1984, page 3-36.

3. 3 Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller), The Five Year Defense Program; Book 1 FYDP Program Structure, DoD 7045.7-H, August 1984, page 3-38.

RESOURCES


FAS | Space | Military | Programs | Support |||| Index | Search | Join


http://www.fas.org/spp/military/program/support/ground.htm
Implemented by Christina Lindborg, 1997 Scoville Fellow
Maintained by Robert Sherman
Originally created by John Pike
Updated Sunday, April 20, 1997