Introducing the OSSAT CONOPs series

Ensuring OSSAT Utility And Flexibility

We want the Open Source Satellite (OSSAT) to be able to service a wide range of space applications making it a highly versatile and useful system. We also want to reduce the number of modifications that need to be made to the design for different mission types to reduce the cost as much as possible. Doing this will make space more accessible by achieving a price-point far lower than anything available in the small satellite market today. This is one of the main objectives of the OSSAT programme.

Considering Mission Concepts of Operations

In order to ensure that the OSSAT platform that we design is capable of being used for a large number of applications, we need to carefully consider what each of these applications requires from the platform in order to operate in space. This is the reason why our systems engineering team have been developing Concepts of Operations (CONOPs) for each of the main applications of space that we want people to be able to use the OSSAT for.

A CONOPs is a document that highlights the key characteristics required of a system from the point of view of the stakeholders who will use that system. In the context of the individual OSSAT applications, this means we have been carefully considering what the different types of payloads will require from the OSSAT platform in terms of:

  • The mission architecture
  • The platform architecture
  • Operations in the launch and early orbit phase
  • Both nominal and non-nominal operations of the mission
  • Any specific end-of-life operations

Example CONOPsA preview of the mission architecture of a generic Internet of Things OSSAT application

Considering Failure, Detection, Isolation and Recovery From The Start

As well as analysing the payload’s needs from a mission/platform architecture and operations viewpoint, we have also gathered information on the physical characteristics of these payloads (such as mass, volume and required noise environment) to provide inputs into the early phases of our structural design of the OSSAT. We want the OSSAT to be a highly robust system with no credible single-point failures that would lead to a loss of mission. These CONOPs documents have therefore also been used to gather information regarding the additional failure, detection, isolation and recovery strategies that payloads may require.

Introducing The OSSAT CONOPs Series

Over the coming months we will be releasing a number of these application-specific CONOPs that have been generated for the programme. We are very excited to be able to share this information with our wider OSSAT community and hope that the CONOPs will be both an interesting and highly useful read! Make sure to monitor the OSSAT News page over the coming weeks for the release of the Earth Observation CONOPs followed by the Internet of Things CONOPs, two of the key applications we want the OSSAT to be capable of servicing.

Which Mission Concepts of Operations are you interested in? Let us know in the Comments below. exists to create an environment that supports and enables entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, with the aim of taking the next step in small satellite capabilities.
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