LAS CRUCES, N.M., 1 March 2013. General Dynamics C4 Systems engineers have upgraded the ground control system supporting NASA's three, next-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS).
Modifications and technology updates to the ground system terminals in New Mexico included the integration of advanced command, control, and communications equipment and systems. The work was done without interrupting the day-to-day operations of the TDRS constellation, which connects the space agency's spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station (ISS), to mission-critical ground systems.
General Dynamics leads the modernization of the TDRS ground system as a subcontractor to The Boeing Company, the prime contractor responsible for building the three next-generation TDRS satellites.
"We successfully implemented the new technologies and enhanced capabilities on-budget and on-time for the recent launch of the first next-generation TDRS satellite, TDRS-K. This is an exceptional achievement for our team," says Chris Marzilli, president of General Dynamics C4 Systems.
TDRS satellites maintain a geosynchronous orbit where they have a wide view of Earth. From that position, the satellites pick up signals from NASA's fleet of Earth-orbiting spacecraft, relaying their signals to the White Sands ground station.
In addition to supporting the TDRS mission from the ground since 1983, General Dynamics is the prime contractor for NASA's Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) project that is modernizing all NASA’s space network ground communication systems and provides for continuous ground system technology and system upgrades for the next 25 years.