StellarStation is a cloud platform that provides ground station owners with shared revenue acquired through sharing available time of their ground stations regardless of those ground station's internal components and configuration. Once you integrate your ground station with StellarStation, you can share available ground station time with multiple satellite operators without any additional integration work.
To achieve this, StellarStation provides scheduler, ground station manager, and data transfer services. All of StellarStation's services are deployed to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and managed with Kubernetes. This means that they are always running the latest versions of operating systems and containers. The details of each of these services are described below.
As an interface between your ground station and StellarStation, Infostellar will provide you with an edge server called "StarPass" for free. This device interfaces with your ground station hardware and executes scheduled passes on behalf of satellite operators so that satellite operators do not need to access your hardware directly. It also has strict security controls in place to prevent unauthorized access to your ground station hardware. For more information on the StarPass device, please refer to the StarPass introductory article.
Ground Station Manager
The GS manager system in StellarStation provides the following services:
- Fully automated control of the ground station equipment during a pass
- Status information for each piece of ground station equipment during a pass
The actual method for integrating the ground station manager with your ground station will depend on your specific configuration. Infostellar will provide a detailed integration proposal after we assess your station. The StarPass device has software plugins that add support for specific hardware devices. Because of this, it is possible for us to integrate with whatever devices you may have. However, integration time can be greatly reduced if your ground station uses equipment that Infostellar has already developed an interface for.
If your ground station already uses control software to configure your hardware during a pass then it is possible for StarPass to also use that software to configure your hardware during a pass instead of controlling your ground station hardware directly. For example, if your ground station uses Zodiac's MCS software to configure devices, then StarPass can also use that software instead of controlling the modem and ACU directly.
The scheduler system in StellarStation offers the following services:
- Pass scheduling up to three weeks in advance
- Pass reservation management (generation of the pass list, pass booking, and pass cancelling)
- Creation and management of unavailability windows
If your ground station already uses pass scheduling software then the StarPass can use that software to schedule passes on your ground station. This allows StellarStation passes to more easily coexist with your existing operations.
The Data transfer system in StellarStation offers the following services:
- Real-time bidirectional communication for UHF and S-Band
- Near real-time communication for X-band
StarPass and StellarStation allow satellite operators to send and receive data to and from their satellite as if they were connected to the modem at ground station directly. Data received from the satellite is stored in an encrypted format in the cloud for later retrieval if needed.
Because all of the details of the modem being used are hidden from the satellite operator, satellite operators only need to interface with StellarStation once instead of writing custom integrations for each ground station. Likewise, ground station owners do not need to create VPNs, change security settings, or assist satellite operators in integrating with their modems each time a new satellite operator is added to the ground station.