Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS) Common Ground System (CGS) Use of Space Link Extension (SLE) Protocol

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Michael Jamilkowski, Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS), Greenbelt, MD; and G. Cordier, L. M. Roberts, and C. J. Tillery

INTRODUCTION The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are jointly acquiring the next-generation civilian operational weather and environmental satellite system: the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). JPSS will contribute the afternoon orbit and ground processing system of the restructured National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS). As such, JPSS will replace the current Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellites (POES) managed by NOAA and ground processing component of the POES program. JPSS satellites will carry a suite of sensors designed to collect meteorological, oceanographic, climatological, and solar-geophysical observations of the earth, atmosphere, and space. The JPSS ground processing system is known as the JPSS Common Ground System (CGS), and consists of a Command, Control, & Communications Segment (C3S) and Interface Data Processing Segment (IDPS). Both segments are developed by Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services (IIS). The C3S currently flies the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (S-NPP) satellite and transfers mission data from S-NPP and between ground facilities. The IDPS processes S-NPP satellite data to provide Environmental Data Records (EDRs) to NOAA and Department of Defense (DoD) processing centers. When the JPSS-1 satellite is launched in early 2017, the C3S and IDPS responsibilities will be expanded to support both SNPP and JPSS-1. The JPSS CGS currently provides data processing for S-NPP, generating multiple terabytes per day across over two dozen environmental data products -- that workload will be multiplied by two when the JPSS-1 satellite is launched. But the CGS goes well beyond mission management and data processing for the S-NPP and JPSS missions. For example, the CGS also provides raw data acquisition, routing and processing for GCOM-W1 to support further processing by NOAA. The CGS also provides data routing support to operational centers and missions across the globe.

BACKGROUND The CGS multimission capabilities facilitate support to an array of missions beside S-NPP and JPSS. The CGS provides data routing for numerous other missions, systems and organizations, including US Navy's Coriolis/Windsat, NASA's Space Communications and Navigation (SCaN) network (including the Earth Observation System), National Science Foundation's (NSF's) McMurdo Station communications, DoD's Defense Meteorological Satellite Program (DMSP), and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT's) Metop satellites. For these satellite systems, each orbits the Earth 14 times a day, downlinking data once or twice per orbit at up to hundreds of megabits per second, to support the generation of tens of terabytes of data per day across hundreds of environmental data products. Raytheon and the US government have invested a significant amount in Raytheon's suite of mission management, command & control and data-processing products and capabilities. The CGS's expandable, flexible, multi-mission capabilities offer significant opportunities for cost reduction and improved information integration across missions. Raytheon has a unique ability to provide complex, highly secure, multi-mission ground systems. As disaggregation, hosted CGS Multi-mission payloads, and other space architecture trades are implemented and new sensors come on line that collect orders of magnitude more data, the importance of a flexible, expandable, and virtualized modern ground system architecture increases. The CGS offers that solution support. The JPSS CGS supports 5 global ground stations that can receive S-NPP, GCOM-W1, and/or JPSS-1 mission data. These ground stations, linked with high-bandwidth commercial fiber, can quickly transport data to the IDPS, FNMOC, and NAVOCEANO for environmental data product generation and delivery. CGS will process and deliver JPSS-1 data to operational users in the U.S. in less than 80 minutes from the time of collection (vice 140 minutes for S-NPP). And CGS leverages the fiber network for S-NPP, GCOM-W1, and JPSS-1 to additionally provide data routing for a wide array of missions on a global scale. SPACE LINK EXTENSION (SLE) PROTOCOL Through the adoption of Consultive Committee on Space Data Systems (CCSDS) Space Link Extension (SLE) Services, the JPSS CGS provides a standardized, reliable means to transfer mission command and telemetry data between the 5 JPSS CGS supported global ground stations and the NOAA Satellite Operations Facility (NSOF). The use of standardized CCSDS SLE Services promotes CGS expandability by providing added risk reduction and cost savings when integrating future missions and ground service providers into the JPSS CGS. The CCSDS SLE Services provide a well-documented standard data transfer protocol that is supported as Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) by many satellite communications vendors such as RTLogic, Kongsberg Spacetec, Ingenicomm and Zodiac Data systems. Use of a standard COTS data transfer protocol within the JPSS CGS eliminates the need to develop and support new and complex mission-specific data transfer mechanisms and interfaces. This elimination results in risk reduction associated with the deployment and integration of these mission-specific data transfer mechanisms for new missions and ground station providers. Use of the CCSDS SLE Services standard protocol reduces development, integration and test activities associated with the standing up of new missions and mission interfaces in the JPSS CGS. This reduction in development, integration and test activities provides cost savings when adding additional missions to the JPSS CGS.

CONCLUSION The JPSS CGS is a mature, tested solution for supporting operational weather forecasting for civil, military, and international partners as well as climate research. It features a flexible design that handles order-of-magnitude increases in data over legacy satellite ground systems and meets demanding science accuracy needs. The JPSS CGS is expandable to support additional ground station service providers with or without the deployment of additional JPSS ground hardware by utilizing standard SLE Transfer Service protocol. The Raytheon-built JPSS CGS provides the full common ground capability, from design and development through operations and sustainment. These features lay the foundation for the CGS future evolution to support additional missions.