How to architect a system that will perform a data relay function.





You are tasked by your sponsor to perform an Analysis of Alternatives study that will help the program decide how to architect a system that will perform a data relay function. The data initially comes from a spacecraft in GEO with a continuous downlink data rate of 1 Gbps that is received at a remote satellite tracking station located in India. The AoA is specifically concerned with how to relay the data from that remote Indian tracking station to a Mission Operations Center (MOC) located at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).

Objectives and Requirements for your data relay function include:
1. Objective is to keep data secure
2. Objective is to minimize complexity and risk
3. Objective is to minimize cost, including development and operational costs
4. System shall be scalable, potentially supporting up to five 1 Gbps data streams
5. System shall relay data with a Bit-Error-Rate (BER) ≤10-6
6. System shall have data latency from the Indian tracking station to GSFC < 2 seconds (Threshold); < 0.1 seconds (Objective)

Problem #1
70 points

Perform steps 1-11 of the formal trade study process described in Course Module 4. For step 2, develop at least 3 alternatives for implementing this data relay function. Describe each alternative using an OV-1 and with a written narrative that describes the concept and salient features (no more than ½ page each).


1. To help you identify alternatives to consider, think about the different methods used for moving data around the world:
– How are most internet data moved around the world?
– How do researchers at the South Pole communicate with their families?
– How does data get to and from the ISS?
– How does SpaceX’s Starlink plan to move internet data from pt. A to pt. B?
– How do US service men and women pay their bills when they are at sea?
2. What SMEs would you consult?
3. Ensure your alternative concepts are “orthogonal” (i.e., different from one another) to the extent possible – this will help provide some “separation” in your scoring


Grading considerations: Be sure to review the Module 4 lecture material; adequate information can be found there. The readings are also very helpful. The 70 points are allocated as follows:
Step 1: 5 points
Step 2: 5 points
Step 3: 5 points
Step 4: 10 points
Step 5: 10 points
Step 6: 5 points
Step 7: 5 points
Step 8: 5 points
Step 9: 10 points
Step 10: 5 points
Step 11: 5 points

Problem #2
30 points

You’ve also been hired to develop the Indian tracking station as described above. Perform an informal trade study that will help you select a satellite receiver to be used at this remote tracking station. In addition to the need to support the requirements as outlined in Problem #1, important considerations include receiver flexibility and adaptability (for potential future changes in waveforms of the signals being transmitted by the GEO spacecraft), and level of integration of all the receiver functions (i.e., 1 physical unit preferred vs. multiple units connected together). Scalability can be supported by adding additional receivers if necessary. Follow the method and approach described in Lecture 4C that is found in Module 4 on Blackboard. Be sure to explain your selection as part of Step 6.


Wrt to the Problem #2…
1. Look at The New SMAD book.
2. If you are looking for alternatives, just google:
a) “satellite telemetry receiver”
b) “space downlink receiver”
c) “highest data rate satellite receiver’




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