Generic Constellation Mission Planning System (CMPS) for missions with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and/or Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads

Date released: April 14, 2017

Sector: Space, Aerospace & Defence

Under a contract with Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC), GlobVision is developing a generic Constellation Mission Planning System (CMPS) for missions with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and/or Automatic Identification System (AIS) payloads. CMPS can be customized (through its user interfaces) to support  virtually any SAR and/or AIS constellation mission (as well as single-satellite missions) along with spacecraft constraints such as  payloads (e.g. duty cycle), in-orbit resources (e.g. memory and power), ground resources (e.g. downlink data rate constraint), etc. Various users submit User Requests (URs) to CMPS that define Areas-Of-Interest (AOIs) or point targets (POIs) that they want to observe using the SAR and/or AIS payloads of the configured constellation (or single-satellite) mission. CMPS will then use advanced and innovative scheduling algorithms to automatically generate an optimized list of SAR imaging, data downlink, and AIS On/Off tasks that maximize the scientific return and accommodate as many URs as possible while ensuring that all the mission/spacecraft constraints are respected.

In determining an optimized schedule of SAR imaging tasks, the CMPS will take into account signal interference within the constellation and from other SAR/radar satellites so that the acquired SAR imagery are guaranteed to have acceptable quality (in terms of signal-to-noise and signal-to-clutter ratios).

In addition to typical URs that are future looking and will be scheduled for a time window called scheduling period (SP) in near future, CMPS also accommodates dynamic URs (for emergency reasons) and schedules them for the current SP.

Finally, CMPS will have state-of-the-art data fusion algorithms to fuse vessel/ship tracks from AIS and SAR and evaluate the fusion performance. It will allow users to view SAR, AIS and fused tracks as well as utilize the generated fusion Performance Evaluation (PE) metrics to enhance their knowledge of the Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) picture. This provides an arena for making more informed decisions when submitting future user requests.

CMPS is a web-based solution that will provide ease of connectivity from different locations with secure authentication and user login. It will allow users to submit their requests through the web interface and view the results directly from the web browser. CMPS uses industry standard and proven solutions for its mission simulation needs (i.e. orbital dynamics, space mission and payload geometry, radar interference analysis), which improves the reliability and efficiency of the CMPS calculations. CMPS is designed, and will be developed, as a modular, configurable system, which enables efficient and reliable upgrades to its existing core modules and integration of new modules in the future. Data access and storage will be handled through an application database interface. The automation of the system will be achieved through the creation of time-based services that perform the expected tasks of the system at pre-configured times, or when one or more events are triggered within the system.

These innovative elements will position CMPS uniquely as the only generic MPS currently available on the market that can be used for constellation as well as single-satellite missions, which uses intelligent and innovative scheduling algorithms, accounts for the signal interference effects, and conducts performance evaluation of the resulting mission data.