Huld’s Orbitcon MCS – Ground segment solution for Nanosatellites

Written by Marek Sedlacek
Space and Defence Unit Lead, Czechia

Huld developed a mission control system (MCS) customized for the nanosatellite missions. The MCS is provided in form of software-as-a-service (SaaS), or in broader sense ground-segment-as-a-service (GSaaS), i.e., including a ground station network.

Our architecture is based on hybrid-cloud setup so that user’s data aren’t stored in public cloud provider’s storage but securely managed on a private server. Due to generic architecture and protocol agnostic approach, we are able to support variety of missions at different levels, starting with simple provision of raw data exchange and ending with management of complex communication on a space link. 

Figure 1 Orbitcon – ground segment solution by Huld.

Main motivation 

The solution addresses common issue of many nanosat missions, i.e., need for creation of dedicated ground segment, sometimes from scratch and hardly re-usable later. Cost to build such segment has very often a significant impact to the mission budget. Therefore, Huld provides a global solution to be used as standardized Ground Segment as a Service (GSS) avoiding need to spent resources (money, man hours, etc.) to analyze, develop, test, integrate and validate each new ground segment artifact. 

Orbitcon MCS highlights 

The main features of our mission control system can be summarized as follows: 

  • Mission Control System for customized for nanosatellites 
  • Hybrid-cloud setup 
  • Robust kernel based on European Ground Segment Common Core 
  • Zero maintenance required by operators 
  • Per pass pricing 
  • Quick setup * 
  • Protocol agnostic 
  • Permission-based access 
  • Distributed operations 
  • Secure connection link 
  • Interactive help assistant 
  • Fluid and modern web interface, easily reconfigurable 

* If packet formats and communication scheme provided 

Figure 2 Orbitcon MCS – User Interface.

Summary 

The Orbitcon is a mission control system provided as a service, validated with two existing CubeSats missions, and build on top of the European Ground Segment Common Core that delivers the robustness and reliability. As part of Huld’s ground segment solution we have an active ground station located in Czechia that can offer radio interface in UHF band instantaneously and in the other RF bands per customer request. Due to standardized interfaces and generic design approach, we plan to increase the ground station network through the partnership agreements driven by economic benefits for both sides. Orbitcon then will provide unified access to such network with additional processing capabilities. Our solution can significantly reduce cost of your ground segment and speed up mission instantiation. The predictable pay-as-you-go pricing allows you to dissolve the cost of operation over the mission lifetime that have positive impact on the cashflow situation. If you are interested in the solution, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

Marek Sedlacek
Space and Defence Unit Lead, Czechia
marek.sedlacek@huld.io 

Kimmo Kaario
Space Business Unit Director, Finland
kimmo.kaario@huld.io 

Matti Anttila
Business Development Director, Finland
matti.anttila@huld.io