AFFORDABLE GROUND STATION EQUIPMENT FOR COMMERCIAL AND SCIENTIFIC REMOTE SENSING APPLICATIONS
AffiliationTSI TelSys, Inc.
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AbstractThe remote sensing industry is experiencing an unprecedented rush of activity to deploy commercial and scientific satellites. NASA and its international partners are leading the scientific charge with The Earth Observation System (EOS) and the International Space Station Alpha (ISSA). Additionally, there are at least ten countries promoting scientific/commercial remote sensing satellite programs. Within the United States, commercial initiatives are being under taken by a number of companies including Computer Technology Associates, Inc., EarthWatch, Inc., Space Imaging, Inc., Orbital Imaging Corporation and TRW, Inc. This activity is due to factors including: technological advances which have lead to significant reductions in the costs to build and deploy satellites; an awareness of the importance of understanding human impact on the ecosystem; and a desire to collect and sell data some believe will be worth $1.5 billion (USD) per year within five years. The success and usefulness of these initiatives, both scientific and commercial, depends largely on the ease and cost of providing remotely sensed data to value added resellers and end-users. A number of these spacecraft will provide an interface directly to users. To provide these data to the largest possible user base, ground station equipment must be affordable and the data must be distributed in a timely manner (meaning seconds or minutes, not days) over commercial network and communications equipment. TSI TelSys, Inc. is developing ground station equipment that will perform both traditional telemetry processing and the bridging and routing functions required to seamlessly interface commercial local- and wide-area networks and satellite communication networks. These products are based on Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) components and pipelined, multi-processing architectures. This paper describes TelSys’ product family and its envisioned use within a ground station.
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