SOaaS - Satellite Operations as a Service

Status
Ongoing
Status date
2022-09-21
Activity Code
6B.105
Objectives

The objective of the SOAAS project is to develop a Satellite Operations as a Service (SOaaS) product. The service will be offered as follows: 

  • As Software as a Service (SaaS): SOaaS is deployed at any place, within a public or private cloud, and it will be remotely operated by our customers.

  • Offering the operations service itself. The software system is deployed as per the previous bullet, but it is operated also by GMV subject to a specific Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the customer. 

  • By leasing or selling the software to a third party. The system can be deployed as described above and the third party would either offer it to an operator or operate the satellites themselves.

GMV’s current ground segment products are a worldwide reference and will be the base for the project. The main features to be developed are:

  • •    Enhance deployment and make it more flexible to adapt it to cloud technologies while ensuring remote access to data and service outputs.

  • •    Improve system interfaces using middleware for message streaming.

  • •    Automate operations to minimize user intervention.

  • •    Provide advanced reports using dedicated visualization dashboards. 

  • •    Develop standard operational procedures easily adapted to reference missions.

  • •    End-to-end validation of the SOaaS system.

Challenges

SOaaS activities include highly innovative deployment and operations solutions. This shift from the traditional satellite control centre is the greatest challenge in the project, moving from a traditional human-operated control centre for a single mission to an automated, multi-mission, scalable and reusable solution, and it requires the adaptation to a service-based architecture using state-of-the-art technologies.

Benefits

To satisfy existing and new potential customers demands, SOaaS is centred around the following goals: 

  • Effective solution: focused on reducing the cost elements connected to software design, development, testing, deployment, and maintenance. 

  • Flexible deployment: SOaaS is designed to be deployed in the cloud. 

  • State-of-the-art technologies: Interface based on web technologies that enhances the user experience. Service-based architecture to simplify distributed deployments.

  • Standard interfaces: SOaaS product is set to use standard CCSDS interfaces, even if customer tailoring is also foreseen. 

  • Third-party integration: To facilitate integration with ground station services provider.

  • Scalability: The architecture is conceived to be scalable and modular, and it can be tailored to control a single satellite or a complete constellation. 

  • Multimission/Multisatellite: The SOaaS product is designed to provide a multi-mission/multi-satellite product.

  • Automation: SOaaS activities include the support for automation covering different scenarios. 

  • Security: Security steps are becoming an essential part of satellite missions for many different reasons. SOaaS product is designed to apply the expertise and know-how for monitoring, preventing, and troubleshoot any potential security vulnerability. 

Features

Automation

In today’s fast-moving world, automation is synonym of cost-effectiveness of operations and risk reduction. 
SOaaS targets unattended operations. A master plan across the different ground segment components is established and implemented without user intervention unless an insurmountable non-nominal situation is encountered.

Multi-mission

SOaaS implements a homogeneous multi-mission concept, by which most of the operations look the same whatever the ground station or satellites manufacturer or bus, from a simple spinner to a multi-ton 3-axis stabilized satellite, with just a handful of features implemented as platform-specific.

With growing fleets, it is critical to count on a single place to supervise all elements. Our products provide complex systems situational awareness through clean, filtered, aggregated, summarized, relevant semantic KPIs, making use of advanced visualization and aggregation techniques and being able to drill-down from high-level to more detailed views. 

Cybersecurity

The required level of security and cybersecurity in satellite monitoring and control systems heavily depends on the customer and the mission, ranging from new space prototypes to government programs. Our solutions provide advanced authentication, network protection and enforces with word-class software all the applicable security policies, preventing and defending from cybersecurity threats.

System Architecture

The SOaaS product integrates the main subsystems of a satellite operations centre and provides some common layers to centralise information and status. SOaaS products provides solutions that are scalable from a single satellite to large fleets and even massive mega-constellations. The product is illustrated in the following high-level block diagram, which identifies the key building blocks and major interfaces.

The main components in SOaaS are an evolution of GMV’s current product line:

Plan

The Satellite Operations as a Service project is a product phase development. The main milestones are:

  • Kick-off meeting

  • Preliminary Design Review

  • Operations Design Review

  • Mid-term Review

  • Test Readiness Review

  • Acceptance Review

Current status

The SOaaS project started in July 2022 with a successful Kick-off meeting, and it is currently undergoing the design phase until late 2022.

In 2023, the concept of operations is to be reviewed and development of SOaaS will start. Validation and acceptance phases are planned for 2024.

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