On-Board Spacecraft Time-Keeping Mission System Design and Verification
AuthorWickham, Mark E.
AffiliationFairchild Space & Defense
Exterme Ultraviolet Explorer
Telemetry and Command Processor
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RightsCopyright © International Foundation for Telemetering
Collection InformationProceedings from the International Telemetering Conference are made available by the International Foundation for Telemetering and the University of Arizona Libraries. Visit http://www.telemetry.org/index.php/contact-us if you have questions about items in this collection.
AbstractSpacecraft on-board time keeping, to an accuracy better than 1 millisecond, is a requirement for many satellite missions. Scientific satellites must precisely "time tag" their data to allow it to be correlated with data produced by a network of ground and space based observatories. Multiple vehicle satellite missions, and satellite networks, sometimes require several spacecraft to execute tasks in time phased fashion with respect to absolute time. In all cases, mission systems designed to provide a high accuracy on-board clock must necessarily include mechanisms for the determination and correction of spacecraft clock error. In addition, an approach to on-orbit verification of these mechanisms may be required. Achieving this accuracy however need not introduce significant mission cost if the task of maintaining this accuracy is appropriately distributed across both the space and ground mission segments. This paper presents the mission systems approaches taken by two spacecraft programs to provide high accuracy on-board spacecraft clocks at minimum cost. The first, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center's (GSFC) Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer (EUVE) program demonstrated the ability to use the NASA Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) mission environment to maintain an on-board spacecraft clock to within 100 microseconds of Naval Observatory Standard (NOS) Time. The second approach utilizes an on-board spacecraft Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver as a time reference for spacecraft clock tracking which is facilitated through the use of Fairchild's Telemetry and Command Processor (TCP) spacecraft Command & Data Handling Subsystem Unit. This approach was designed for a future Shuttle mission requiring the precise coordination of events among multiple space-vehicles.
SponsorsInternational Foundation for Telemetering