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Flight Operation & Surveillance

Critical mission control to complex flight dynamics algorithms

For more than 40 years, CS GROUP has been participating to numerous space missions, to design, develop, integrate and operate control ground segment and flight operations systems, for any kind of missions: Telecom (ex: NEOSAT), Navigation (EGNOS & GALILEO), Earth observation (ex: Pleiades, CSO, CERES, COPERNICUS), Scientific (ex: ATV, MYRIADE family) and interplanetary (ex : Rosetta).

CS GROUP thus provides its customers with the most powerful software building blocks for all systems of the control ground segment, and is able to interface with all types of sensors for space surveillance.

Mission Control Systems

As involved in the whole life cycle of missions for many years, CS GROUP teams have acquired very good knowledge of control centers software components and architectures, space standards, space data management and space protocols. Their knowledge and operational practices cover all major control centers product lines: SCOS-2000 (ESA), Open Center (Airbus DS), EGS-CC (ESA), ISIS (CNES), either on development / maintenance, AIV or operations activities. This gives to our teams a particular relevance on control centers expertise.

Some major recent references can therefore be mentioned and specifically:

  • ATV CC Monitoring and Control operations for ESA and CNES,
  • Pleiades ground segment (Control center, programming chain, Image quality, Secured Dual Ground Segment) for CNES,
  • ISIS CC Product line (AIV activities on several missions) for CNES,
  • EGS-CC (SDE, phase C/D development, technologies upgrade) for ESA,
  • MOSAIC scheduler (Airbus DS product),
  • ANGELS nanosatellite Command Control Center development for CNES and Hemeria,
  • N3SS & KINEIS: integration and operation of the operational control ground segments

Moreover, since 2016, CS GROUP has also taken up the challenge of building the CSNano reusable software suite for ground operations on nanosatellites missions. CS GROUP proposes a Java-based solution, component and service oriented, adaptable to the needs of each mission, portable and easy to deploy. CSNano main purpose is to address any mission needs taking into account small satellites & constellations specificities (several satellites to manage simultaneously, limited maneuvers, high level of automation, etc.). CSNano reduces total cost of ownership (CAPEX and OPEX) and time to market for new space missions.

Flight Dynamics Systems

CS GROUP is gathering a team of more than 80 engineers specialized in Flight Dynamics and AOCS (Attitude and Orbit Control System). It represents one of the largest team in Europe.

By working with major players in the civil and military space industry (CNES, ESA, EUMETSAT, JAXA, DGA, Airbus DS, Thales Alenia Space, Ariane Group, etc.), this team is positioned on new programs :

  • «The road to Phobos» with the CNES «Martian Moon Exploration» (MMX) mission,
  • « The future French military satellites bodyguard » thanks to YODA patrol satellites for the French Defense,
  • « The Space Debris cleaner » with the missions to capture and dispose of debris on behalf of ESA and the Japanese JAXA,
  • « The support to the installation of the Space Command » on the CNES site, the future pillar of French DGA's Space Surveillance System (SSA).

Thus, the strong experience of CS GROUP Flight Dynamics skills is based on the following axes:

  • a broad coverage of the various space missions (LEO, GEO, Interplanetary),
  • a large thematic coverage: orbitography, maneuvering, guidance, AOCS, and SSA,
  • numerous skills in mathematics: optimization, integration, linear algebra, approximation, filtering, geometry, numerical analysis, numerical quality, etc.,
  • a regular involvement in each phase of software life: specification, development, validation, qualification, operational implementation, maintenance,
  • a strong knowledge in several generations of analysis and operational software over time.

The creation of the OREKIT flight dynamics library ten years ago clearly demonstrates that the CS GROUP’s flight dynamics team is best in class in terms of technical and operational expertise. OREKIT (www.orekit.org ), low level space dynamics library written in Java, has gained widespread recognition since it was released under an open source license in 2008. OREKIT is now integrated in CNES product line, in EUMETSAT components, by ESA projects, in Airbus Defense Space product line, by THALES ALENIA SPACE projects, in some NASA projects and also many other missions of the “old” and “new” space. We can clearly state the OREKIT is now the most widely used and recognized flight dynamics library of the world.

Thanks to OREKIT, CS GROUP proposes a full offer of high quality, friendly and precise OREKIT based Flight Dynamics products which are described on the dedicated web site www.orekit.space: ORaaS (OREKIT as a Service) is a friendly and free web access to the power of OREKIT; OreFLIDS is a OREKIT based Flight Dynamics Systems, bringing the power of OREKIT for the best performance of your missions.

Space Surveillance capabilities at the service of space forces

Thanks to the above advanced skills and products, CS GROUP have been able to build one of the strongest forces in Europe for Space Surveillance answering to both civilian and military operational needs.

A clear illustration of these forces can be seen through the ESA Space Debris Movie where CS GROUP uses its skills with OREKIT to calculate the orbits of the 20 000 objects that are simulated in this movies:

A unique experience through debris!

Also for ESA, ESOC in Darmstadt, CS GROUP has been supporting the Space Debris Office. For CNES, CS GROUP has been in charge, for many years, of Space Surveillance studies & developments, and operational activities:

  • Support to collision risk activities: propagation, uncertainty & fragmentation modelling, debris evolution model,
  • Spatial situational awareness: OSMOSE OCM & developments, Expertise support in spatial situational awareness,
  • Support to the COO (Centre d’Orbitographie Operationnelle).

For the French Department of Defense, CS GROUP is currently developing the software systems at the heart of the Space Command Center: SIS (Système d’Information Spatiale), TBS (Tableau de Bord Spatial) and SMIS (Space Mission Intelligent System).

These systems main purpose is to build in real-time the best Space Situational Awareness through the merge of information from any kind of sensors (TLEs and RF, optical, radar,…). For operational needs, decision making functions are added thanks to computing Collision Risks, Re-entry analysis, specific events detection with alarms raising and reports production.

CS GROUP integrates Artificial Intelligence to these decision making functions. CS GROUP AI algorithms are already certified for satellite automatic classification, automatic maneuver detection and many others to come …