Our Mission

The Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) project has undertaken the monumental task to upgrade ground-based portions of the Space Network (SN). An upgrade effort of this magnitude, while simultaneously maintaining the SN in an operational state, has never before been attempted.

Our mission is to implement a modern ground segment that enables the SN to continue to deliver high-quality services to the SN community, meet stakeholder requirements, and reduce operations and maintenance requirements to maintain the ground terminals. Although there are significant challenges involved with simultaneously modernizing and maintaining the network, the team has planned various strategies to minimize the potential of interruptions in service. SGSS will help preserve the SN’s long legacy and carry its capabilities forward into the future.

History

The Space Network dates back to the early 1970s when NASA originally formulated the concepts for the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS). The first SN ground station became operational in the early 1980s and the first TDRS was launched in April 1983. Since then, the TDRSS fleet has expanded significantly and the customer base has increased in number and diversity. SGSS is an effort to upgrade the ground hardware that supports these assets and the network.

Technology

The last major SN ground system refurbishment was performed in the early 1990s. Although some “point” upgrades have been made since then, the basic infrastructure has become increasingly cumbersome, expensive and difficult to maintain and operate, posing increased risk to the reliability of services numerous NASA customers have depended on for decades.

The SGSS team will upgrade the SN ground stations in White Sands, New Mexico, with modern enterprise-class hardware and software systems, including the use of a significant amount of commercial off-the-shelf technologies and new security measures. SGSS will increase SN data throughput capabilities, implement new standards and introduce a number of other enhancements that will accommodate new users and will ensure the network’s reliability.

Documents
SGSS Body
Pioneering complex, never-before-attempted communications system upgrades.