Ground System for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Mission Observatory Mission
Tann, Hun K.
Pages, Raymond J.
Silva, Christopher J.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has recently completed its Critical Design Review (CDR) of a new dual Ka and S-band ground system for the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Mission. SDO, the flagship mission under the new Living with a Star Program Office, is one of GSFC's most recent large-scale in-house missions. The observatory is scheduled for launch in August 2008 from the Kennedy Space Center aboard an Atlas-5 expendable launch vehicle. Unique to this mission is an extremely challenging science data capture requirement. The mission is required to capture 95% of all observation opportunities with a completeness of 99.99%. Due to the continuous, high volume (150 Mbps) science data rate, no on-board storage of science data will be implemented on this mission. With the observatory placed in a geo-synchronous orbit at 36,000 kilometers within view of dedicated ground stations, the ground system will in effect implement a “real-time” science data pipeline with appropriate data accounting, data storage, data distribution, data recovery, and automated system failure detection and correction to keep the science data flowing continuously to three separate Science Operations Centers (SOCs). Data storage rates of ~ 42 Tera-bytes per month are expected. The Mission Operations Center (MOC) will be based at GSFC and is designed to be highly automated. Three SOCs will share in the observatory operations, each operating their own instrument. Remote operations of a multi-antenna ground station in White Sands, New Mexico from the MOC is part of the design baseline.