SS3101 Ground Systems and Mission Operations

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of space mission operations and the ground infrastructure necessary to support such operations. The course includes an introduction to major functional areas associated with mission operations and typical ground segment architectures. Students will understand how functions and operations in a modern ground architectures are conducted – both in support of the spacecraft bus and the mission payload. They will understand how modern networking techniques and information assurance keep critical data safe and efficiently distribute these data to end users in support of national security operations. Modern space systems produce a tremendous amount of data, which require sophisticated automation and analysis techniques. Students will learn how to apply principles of "Big Data" and cloud computing to handle this information efficiently while also keeping the information secure, and in compliance with accepted security norms. Students will be introduced to modern DOD and Intelligence Community ground architectures, including classified discussions related to national space systems introduced in SS3001. Students will analyze the role of ground systems in mission performance, and consider how ground architectures might be changed to improve overall mission performance and resilience without undue increases in cost and risk.


SS3500 or SS3400, and SS3001 (or concurrent)

Lecture Hours


Lab Hours


Quarter Offered

  • Fall
  • As Required