Federated ground station network model and interface specification
Felt, Aaron J.
Newman, James H.
Kölsch, Mathias N.
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This thesis solves the problem of a lack of a complete, simple ground station network interface standard. A federated satellite ground station network (FGN) model and computer interface are developed that extend the use of ground stations to external users across the Internet. This should allow for reuse of existing ground stations, reducing costs and complexity of space missions. An improved model describing FGNs is proposed that defines a hierarchy of the components of the network, allowing for scalability and unified interfaces, and simplifying the process of using FGN resources. This model, which we call the Improved FGN model, is used to develop security schemes that are simple but effective. Simple but effective security schemes are then developed for this Improved FGN model, along with a standardized SOFtware interface. This interface connects external users to the network in order to extend ground station hardware to remote users as well as to simplify scheduling for the resource owners in a network. Different middleware frameworks are compared, and Apache Thrift is selected as the best fit for an FGN. This interface is then described and demonstrated with a reference implementation in Python. Recommendations for future improvements of this interface standard are discussed.
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