Spacecraft Operation Services
Spacecraft Operation Background
The effects of space environmental factors must be considered on an event-by-event basis during the operations phase. For example, cosmic rays (GCRs) and solar energetic particles (SEPs) are known causes of single event upsets (SEUs) such as latch-ups in onboard electronics systems, often resulting in instruments and potentially platforms automatically going into safe mode. In the worst case, this can result in terminal damage. SEP events can disrupt telecommanding and data telemetry as a result of the interference in data systems, and the data itself is often worthless due to high levels of noise. Trapped radiation in the radiation belts leads to degradation of components as a result of prolonged dose, with processors, detectors and solar cells particularly vulnerable. A satellite passing through energetic charged plasma will experience a range of charging effects, both on the surfaces and internally within electrical systems, and these charge differentials can lead to sudden discharges and subsequent failure of electrical systems. Less energetic plasma also poses problems, with discharge and sputtering often leading to secondary electron emission and subsequent associated charging problems. Even the neutral atmosphere can be hazardous, with neutral atomic oxygen known to lead to surface erosion of the platform materials, potentially compromising the surface and leading to surface charging. A greater risk to surface integrity comes in the form of debris and micro-meteoroids which can compromise and puncture materials due to their high kinetic and potential energies.Some examples of Space Weather data used on a routine basis within mission operations are the forecasts and nowcasts of: solar flares, solar and magnetospheric energetic particle fluxes, geomagnetic storms, and total electron content. These products based on measured data and modelling are known to be linked with effects such as radio frequency interference, SEUs/latch-ups, radiation damage, charging, and telemetry signal degradation.
|In-orbit environment and effects monitoring
|Provides a near real-time estimate of the environment and its effects actually experienced.
|Provides means to correlate a particular (spacecraft) event with space environment data.
|In-orbit environment and effects forecast
|Provides forecast of the environment and of its effects.
|Mission risk analysis
|Supports mission risk analysis based on expected space environment conditions and mission susceptibility assessment
|Space Weather in the Solar System
|Provides forecasts, nowcasts and alerts of heliospheric weather phenomena in order to support solar system mission operators.