Ground Station Monitoring and Control Systems for ESTRACK

CS GmbH awarded with the next generation of Ground Station Monitoring and Control Systems for ESTRACK

CS GmbH has been selected by ESOC (European Space Operation Centre) for the development and deployment of GSMC-CC (Ground Station Monitoring & Control Common Core). Due to its strong involvement in the EGOS-CC program, CS GmbH was able to build in the past 4 years a core team of experts around EGS-CC that has demonstrated in several occasions to be one of the best teams in the industry.

The purpose of the GSMC-CC is to provide the future Monitoring & Control systems for all ESTRACK Ground Stations, solving the obsolescence and unifying the Monitoring & Control systems with the use of a unique system for ESTRACK.

The ESA Tracking Network (ESTRACK) ground stations are located all around the world. For almost all the ground stations the Monitoring & Control system currently used is the Station Computer (Second Generation) STC2, with the exception of Kiruna ground station where the Central System for M&C (CSMC) is used. Both systems have been developed and deployed in the 90s and ESOC decided implement the next generation of Monitoring control system to face today obsolescence issues while unifying the Monitoring & Control systems in all ESTRACK Ground stations.

ESOC has selected CS GmbH for the design, development and deployment of this new system. GSMC-CC will be a system based on the new technologies and trend of ESA with in particular EGS-CC and hence bringing the stability and reliability required for such operational system.

CS GmbH and its mother company have been involved since the early stages in EGS-CC activities. The European Ground Systems Common Core (EGS-CC) is an ESA initiative together with National Space Agencies and European Space Industries that aims to provide the common foundation for Monitoring & Control applications of next generation all across the ESA Agency. Through the years, CS GmbH has developed a strong experience in EGS-CC based on team of experts that is continuously growing and provide its expertise to ESOC, ESTEC and DLR.

To meet the challenge of GSMC-CC, CS GmbH is priming a consortium of 5 different companies selected for their recognised excellence in the different domains expertise required for the development and deployment of such complex and critical system. Among the challenges, CS GmbH consortium will address the following critical aspects:

  • a station computer is a very flexible system, which requires a heavy customization before being able to operate a ground station. In the ESA/ESOC M&C domain this customization is typically referred to as tailoring, and includes the definition of M&C displays, M&C parameters, synthetic parameters and automation procedures. In order to succeed in a project of this calibre it is not enough to master the station manager software itself but it is also necessary to deeply understand the operational use of a ground station.
  • a good knowledge of the station manager tailoring and the ground station domain is an important asset to have in order to comprehend the overall operational behaviour.
  • Operators managing the ESTRACK ground stations are accustomed to using the same system for the past 30 years. The very challenging goal is to convince the end-users, who are reluctant to abandon systems that they are familiar with, that adopting the new EGS-CC based M&C application will not only improve the daily operation routines but it will also increase the homogeneity across the ESTRACK systems, as well as improving the maintenance and future evolutions of the product.

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