• "Don't Leave the Pad Without It": Using Deployable Assets to Conduct Pre-Launch and On-Orbit Testing

      Morimoto, Todd; Sargent, Cliff; Onizuka Air Force Base; Loral Space and Range Systems (International Foundation for Telemetering, 1993-10)
      When hundreds of millions of dollars are invested in building, launching, and command/control of modern military space systems, the developers and operators need assurance that when their system achieves orbit, it will be able to "talk" with the ground network, exchanging commands, telemetry and ranging signals. Furthermore, prior to launch they need proof of compatibility with the ground data systems, showing that operational ground-based crypto keys, database parameters, and processing software are in-fact compatible with the spacecraft. This paper describes Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC), Space & Missile Center (SMC) Detachment 2's four classes of deployable test assets, emphasizing deployable's contribution to successful on-orbit performance. With not only the huge dollar investment, but even more important, the ability to execute a vital test or operational mission riding on compatibility, and launch vehicle and on-orbit test and evaluation operations the watchwords are "Don't leave the pad without it."