May 28, 2018
Dale J. Mortensen, Christopher Roberts, Richard C. Reinhart

The traditional paradigm for space mission operations relies on inefficient, highly scripted pre-planned activities between space communications & navigation service providers and user ground mission operations centers. Typically there is limited or non-existent automation capabilities on the user spacecraft for requesting space communications services, and on the provider network for request dispositioning and service provisioning. In the past, using these processes for space networks was sufficient with the relatively small number of user spacecraft requesting services. However, with an ever increasing number of satellites being launched to orbit, more complex event-driven science objectives, exploration missions involving collaborative platforms, and more distant missions, approaches that improve automation, flexibility and efficiency are needed. This paper describes NASA's recently completed on-orbit demonstration results of a new space communications service concept called User Initiated Service, and a discussion for infusing this innovation into operations.