Lead: Hanjo Schnellbächer

TRACE Operations is a group of taskforces, that work together, to achieve the means of commanding and controlling the TRACE CubeSat and after launch, ensuring mission success.
These taskforces are the operations itself, tele commanding and ground infrastructure. Operations is tasked with defining the behavior of the satellite for each of its mission phases and in response to external or internal inputs. Telecommanding encompasses the design of the Mission Control Software, the interface between the spacecraft operator and the spacecraft, and the communication protocols, defining how the information between the spacecraft and our ground station is exchanged. Ground-Infrastructure will provide the physical elements required to achieve the two previous taskforces goals by conceptualizing, building and testing the necessary infrastructure, including the ground station as well as the operations room.

What are Spacecraft Operations?

The Operations concerns itself with the design, conceptualization and application of how to control a spacecraft and achieve its purpose, the mission of the satellite. For this, we map out the mission phases, over the satellite’s lifetime, break down the various procedures and design or select communication protocols and control software to interact with the spacecraft. It will be our responsibility to provide operations-experts, capable of commanding the spacecraft during station passes and talk with our satellite.

Current projects

While all three taskforces are working towards supporting the TRACE project, only the operations taskforce is very specific to the TRACE project, as we anticipate reusing most of the work of the telecommanding and ground infrastructure for future missions. However, all taskforces focus on achieving their respective responsibilities in the context of the TRACE CubeSat.

Future projects

As implied in the previous paragraph, future projects, particularly satellites, are on our radar. Also, the actual spacecraft commanding post-launch, including devising detailed operational plans during the satellite’s lifetime, will be commenced in the future, after the launch of TRACE.

Got interested?

If you find the tasks and responsibilities of our Operations Subsection intriguing, join our bi-weekly meetings on Fridays at 11:00 am on our Discord server. For further inquiries, feel free to contact TRACE OPS, the subsection leader of the Operations team.