Blog – SFL Comprehensive Microspace Mission Development Includes Ground Segment

mission control

Throughout our 22-year history at SFL, we have taken great pride in our ability to deliver end-to-end microspace missions for our clients. This means that in addition to taking a CubeSat, nanosat or microsatellite concept from design and development to launch and commissioning, we also provide the ground segment as part of our comprehensive mission package.

The ground segment of a satellite mission traditionally refers to the Mission Control Center and the Ground Stations, or Earth Stations. Mission Control is the brain center equipped mainly with the computers, software, and displays where operations personnel issue commands that are transmitted to the satellite in orbit via one or more ground station(s).

As we all know, a ground station includes the radios, converters, amplifiers and antenna (sometimes a dish), that points to space and transmits commands to satellites. This antenna is a two-way communication device that also downlinks telemetry from spacecraft as well as payload data, such as images, files, and/or measurements for science, monitoring, communication, or Earth observation.

For some missions, there is a primary ground station that can be supported by a global network of others so that contact time can be increased to allow for more mission data to be downloaded.

SFL offers clients the flexibility of using our own Mission Control and ground station here in Toronto or having us support the build of a similar one at their location. This latter option gives them a dedicated facility to control their own satellite. In some cases, we have easily retrofitted existing ground stations to operate the satellites we have built. With either option, we use the same heritage-core hardware and software that we use for all of our missions and add straightforward customizations for the specific satellite and mission.

Over the past two decades, SFL has supported the installation of ground stations around the world. These stations are owned by various clients of SFL, but we can sometimes negotiate on behalf of new clients to incorporate one or more of these existing stations into their network under paid operations agreements. This arrangement gives clients the advantages of a global ground station network without the investment of building multiple facilities from the ground up.

It should also be added that some clients who need just one Mission Control Center and ground station simply contract with SFL for ongoing operations of their satellites from our Toronto facility, which is staffed 24/7 by experienced engineers.

By offering these ground segment options to our clients, we remove the worry that would otherwise come from requiring our clients to oversee construction of these facilities on their own. And with the plug-and-play nature of our Mission Control and ground station components, SFL clients can be confident every aspect of their mission is leveraging our 22 years of successful microspace operations.

LATEST NEWS & BLOGS

Critical Microspace Technologies for Successful Earth Observation
Sep 07 2021
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Awarded Norwegian Space Agency Contract to Build NorSat-4 Maritime Tracking Microsatellite
Aug 09 2021
Three HawkEye 360 Formation-Flying Microsatellites Built By Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Successfully Launched
Jul 01 2021
NASA Selects Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) for StarBurst SmallSat Mission
Jun 28 2021
Why Small Satellites and the ‘Microspace’ Approach are Keys to Developing a National Earth Observation Program
Jun 03 2021
Norwegian Space Agency Announces Launch of NorSat-3 Maritime Tracking Microsatellite Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)
Apr 29 2021
Microspace Technology Enables All Countries to Reap the Benefits of National Earth Observation Programs
Apr 16 2021
Dubai Municipality Announces Launch of DMSat-1 Atmospheric Monitoring Microsatellite Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)
Mar 22 2021
Dubai Municipality and MBRSC to launch region’s first environmental nanometric satellite on March 20
Mar 11 2021
Blog - Quality is Not Synonymous with Standards
Mar 03 2021
GHGSat-C2 Captures First Methane Plume a Week After Launch
Feb 20 2021
Norway Selects Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) to Develop Technology Demonstrator Microsatellite
Feb 16 2021
Slovenia Releases Color Image from NEMO-HD Microsatellite Built by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) in Collaboration with SPACE-SI
Feb 08 2021
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Announces Successful Launch of 12 Satellites on SpaceX Ride-Sharing Mission
Jan 26 2021
Blog-Systems Engineering vs the CubeSat Kit
Jan 11 2021
HawkEye 360’s Cluster 2 Smallsats Ship To Cape Canaveral For Upcoming Launch
Jan 08 2021
SatTV interviews SFL’s Dr. Robert E. Zee
Nov 24 2020
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Awarded Contract by GHGSat Inc. to Build Three More Greenhouse Gas Monitoring Microsatellites
Nov 16 2020
GHGSat Reports Smallest Methane Emission Ever Detected from Space with Microsatellite Developed by Space Flight Laboratory (SFL)
Oct 22 2020
Space Flight Laboratory (SFL) Announces Launch of Two Satellites
Oct 08 2020
Space Flight Laboratory Announces Launch of Atmospheric Monitoring and Earth Observation Microsatellites
Sep 04 2020
Blog - Disruptive vs Operational Mission Strategies
Aug 12 2020
Blog - Join SFL at the Virtual SmallSat 2020
Jul 31 2020
Blog - SFL Serving Both NewSpace and MicroSpace Missions
Jul 29 2020
Blog - AISSat-1 Maritime Vessel Tracking Nanosat Celebrates 10th Anniversary
Jul 22 2020
HAWKEYE 360 COMPLETES MILESTONE IN PREPARATION TO LAUNCH SECOND CLUSTER
Jul 17 2020
Blog - SFL Comprehensive Microspace Mission Development Includes Ground Segment
Jul 06 2020
Blog - Autonomous Formation Flying Enables Multi-Satellite Applications – Part 2
Jun 01 2020
Blog - Autonomous Formation Flying Enables Multi-Satellite Applications – Part 1
May 22 2020
Blog - What’s Under Development at SFL? Atmospheric Monitoring Missions
Apr 27 2020
Blog - What’s Under Development at SFL? Ship Tracking and Remote Sensing Missions
Mar 26 2020
Blog - SFL and Kepler Collaboration Featured on SatTV News
Feb 14 2020
Space Flight Laboratory and Kepler Communications Announce Collaboration on Fully Operational Nanosatellite Constellation
Feb 03 2020
Blog - What’s Under Development at SFL? Commercial GHGSat and HE360 Missions
Jan 13 2020
Blog - Attitude Control Crucial for Practical Applications of Small Satellites – Part 2
Dec 16 2019
Blog - Attitude Control Crucial for Practical Applications of Small Satellites – Part 1
Dec 09 2019
Blog - Do Microspace Companies Have a Role in the NewSpace Era?
Nov 15 2019
HawkEye 360 Awards Contract to Build Next-Generation Satellite Constellation to Achieve Rapid Revisit for Global Spectrum Awareness
Sep 18 2019
Space Flight Laboratory to Build HawkEye 360 Next-Gen Microsatellite Cluster for Commercial Radio Frequency Geolocation
Mar 27 2019
Canada Awards Contracts In Support of Arctic Surveillance
Feb 01 2019
Arianespace to Launch Slovenian NEMO-HD Microsatellite
Dec 03 2018
HawkEye 360 Announces Successful Launch of First Three Satellites Built by SFL Under Contract to DSI
Dec 03 2018
A New Star in the Sky
Nov 20 2018
GHGSat selects Arianespace to launch GHGSat-C1 on Vega
Nov 15 2018
UTIAS-SFL Students Win Significant Awards for their Technical Papers
Aug 14 2018
SFL-Led Nanosatellite Team Receives Canadian Alouette Award for Precise Autonomous Formation Flight
May 17 2018
NorSat-3 Ordered by Norwegian Space Centre, Satellite Under Construction at SFL
Jan 10 2018
Norwegian AIS Satellites See Far More Ships
Jan 10 2018
BRITE Reveals Spots on Supergiant Star Drive Spirals in Stellar Wind
Oct 24 2017
CLARA on NorSat-1 Successfully Switched on for the First Time
Aug 25 2017
View All News Articles View All Blog Articles
© 2014 University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies Space Flight Lab. All rights reserved.