The Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF) provides expertise in mission and navigation analysis, trajectory design, maneuver planning, operations planning, orbit determination, network operations support, and critical real-time mission operations. This expertise spans the technical areas of navigation for low-Earth, geosynchronous, lunar, high-Earth, libration-point, and heliocentric orbit regimes. FDF also provides analysis and operations support to developmental flight projects, numerous operational missions, launch vehicle providers, and the Human Spaceflight Program. FDF supports launch and early-orbit mission phase with real-time orbit determination, network acquisition data updates, orbit insertion performance analysis, and validation of mission GPS solutions. FDF evaluates tracking data from NASA's Near Space Network, the Deep Space Network, NASA and Department of Defense C-band radar sites, and certifies tracking system performance for new stations needed for mission support.
The Communications Services Office provides wide-area network and NASA center local-area network voice, video and data services in support of the agency. The mission communications services include mission and routed data services, dedicated mission data services and mission voice services.
The spectum management team out of NASA's Near Space Network is the responsible authority for all Goddard and NASA missions using S-band to obtain the required equipment certification and frequency authorization from the national licensing authority. The office provides support for spectrum considerations, such as frequency selection, conformance to regulatory constraints and other electromagnetic spectrum parameters. Every project should contact the spectrum management office early in the project life cycle to communicate spectrum requirements in order to avoid cost and schedule delays. For more information, visit the Spectrum Management page.
Goddard Space Flight Center envisions a facility that would be able to test and integrate flight and ground hardware and software all in one place. For the ESC, this would be extremely beneficial for Near Space Network systems. Testing communications compatibility between satellites and their network is crucial to the success of NASA’s missions. Having this all in one place would create efficiency and reduce costs. Currently, the ESC has an expansive radio frequency compatibility testing capabilities at Goddard that is able to replicate communications as they would be in space. As communications have evolved, the ESC developed optical communications compatibility testing. This has been used on missions like the Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration, the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration, and will also be key to testing optical communications for NASA’s upcoming Artemis missions.
Before a satellite can launch, the electromagnetic link analysis team within the Near Space Network works with a project to establish an agreement on mission interface. Based on the mission’s science objectives and its intended orbit, they determine what sort of infrastructure and radio frequency band the mission requires. NASA’s bands include X-band, S-band, Ka-band, and Ku-band, all of which have varying data capabilities or constraints. After assessing the satellite’s communication needs, the electromagnetic link analysis team and project sign an Interface Control Document that officially establishes the mission’s communications infrastructure.
As agency missions advance toward optical communications, the electromagnetic link analysis team will adapt its documentation and analysis process.
The electromagnetic link analysis team also develops NASA’s Communications Link Analysis Simulation System (CLASS). This toolset provides a significant analytical capability for missions using the Near Space Network. The CLASS toolset is wide in scope and is customizable for the network. Additionally, it can be adjusted to fit new communications requirements. For example, when the Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment project required changes to the White Sands Complex communications infrastructure, the CLASS toolset was adjusted to suit their needs.
The Mission Cloud Platform (MCP) provides a consolidated cloud service within NASA in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), giving mission customers a streamlined process for implementing and using secure, compliant cloud resources.
MCP provides access to commercial cloud services from AWS (GovCloud and commercial regions) for NASA science processing pipelines and engineering support for cloud including:
- FISMA Low or Moderate authorization (FISMA High anticipated FY21)
- ITAR/EAR in AWS GovCloud regions
- Integration with NASCOM for mission network requirements
- Integrated with Near Space Network (NSN) ground stations