Space Environment Support System for Telecom/Navigation Missions (SESS)

Status date

The main goal of the activity is to provide Telecom and Navigation Mission operators, project teams, development engineers and scientists with a completely operational prototype capable of supplying, in a structured manner, information on the space environment and its effects on the spacecraft.

This information will contribute to the satellite maintenance (fully operational) to fullfil the mission requirements and finally improve the system and future similar systems by applying a "Lesson Learned" philosophy. This prototype will set the basis of the future Space Environment Support System for Telecom and Navigation Missions - SESS.

In order to be able to give Space Environment support to the users SESS is provided with a set of main capabilities. These capabilities are:

  • Ingestion of environment and effects Data
  • Processing, classification and storage of Data
  • Space Environment (SE) / Space Weather (SW) and Satellite Effects Monitoring
  • Space Environment (SE) / Space Weather (SW) Forecasting
  • Satellite operators specific products and tools
  • Compliant with a "Lessons Learned" philosophy

The main topics addressed to SESS project are:

  • Review the Space Environment Effects and Sensitive Parts on Telecom and Navigation satellites.
  • Identify satellite housekeeping data needed to perform Space Environment effects monitoring.
  • Review the satellite System, Subsystems and units data available related SE effects.
  • Review the procedures for on board anomaly responses.
  • Review and identification of Telecom and Navigation MCC requirements related to SE.
  • Identify possible SE data sources to be used for SESS purposes.
  • Identify the SESS Space Environment, Satellite anomalies database
  • Space Environment data, models and tools definition.
  • SE and Effects databases definition
  • SESS external interfaces analysis.

Multi-Mission: SESS will be designed in order to support several missions. The incorporation to SESS of specific models and tools for each one of the new missions added shall not affect the main SESS infrastructure and the rest of the missions already supported.

Mission-Independent: The main SESS capabilities will be designed in order to provide its products with independence of the mission type. The incorporation of new missions to SESS has to be done with minimum changes in these main capabilities.

Multi-User Design: The access to SESS products shall be designed in order to have a public domain (General User) and a private one (Mission Specific Users and Mission Control Centre users).

Secure and Confidential: The private areas of the SESS database dealing with sensitive mission-specific information will only be accessible to the above mentioned Mission Specific Users and Mission Control Centre users.

Modularity: SESS will be designed with a modular architecture in order to provide to the system maximum updating capabilities and the advantage to use the same modules for different Missions.

Expandability: Database, models and tools will be designed with the proper structure to allow new software implementations and hardware upgrading capabilities with minor changes in the system.

Supporting renewal of models and tools: SESS project will provide a renewal and update philosophy to allow SESS future updates with the minor possible changes in the different SESS modules. A complete interface with Tools and modules has to be defined to allow ESA, SESS users, Space Environment Community, etc. the development of new capabilities for a specific mission or for the General Users domain.

Location (site) independent: SESS will allow different installation locations with the minor changes in the system.


The above listed capabilities can be classified in four main groups of modules within the SESS architecture:

Data importation: This module is responsible for the retrieval, extraction, transformation and loading of all data from the External Data Service Providers, and from the S/C and Forecasting modules.

Databases: This is the SESS component dedicated to providing database services to the remaining SESS system.

Forecasting Module: This is dedicated to the prediction SE parameters, using a series of physical, dynamic and mathematical SE models. A propagator computes the future location of the spacecraft, allowing the forecasting of orbit-related SE parameters.

Tools Modules: This module contains client tools that the Mission Control and Engineering Teams use.

  • The Monitoring Tool is an interactive real time monitoring application with support for multi-satellite monitoring.
  • The Analysis Tool is an offline tool. This tool allows the Mission Engineering Team to perform analysis on past situations and generating reports for internal delivery. This application will access all the historical data saved in the OLAP Module
  • The Rule Editor Tool allows the users to create alarms.

The study tasks are:

Task 1: "Analysis of the Telecom and Navigation Space Segment"
Task 2: "Analysis of Telecom and Navigation Mission Control Centre"
Task 3: "SESS System Requirements Analysis and Design"
Task 4: "SESS Implementation"
Task 5: "SESS Integration, Testing, Validation and Installation"

The delivery of SESS has to be performed at T0 (1st August 2005) + 1 year.

Task 6: "Environment Characterisation", which shall maintain the SESS system during two years of operations.

Current status

The Kick Off was held on 1st August 2005.

The SESS team is analysing Nav/Tel Space Segment and Mission Control Centre, whose main objective are respectively to conduct an analysis of space environment sensitive parts and subsystems and to derive Nav/Tel MCC requirements for the Space Environment Data, models, tools and databases