Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations

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The Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations (GENSO)[1][2] is forming by a worldwide network of ground stations and spacecraft which can interact via a software standard. The GENSO aims to increase the return from educational space missions and changed the way that these missions are managed, dramatically increasing the level of access to orbital educational spacecraft.[3]


GENSO network map coverage Jan 2013

In November 2007, a kickoff meeting was held at the CubeSat workshop.[4][5][6][7] This short presentation (at Aalborg University in Denmark) to the rest of the GENSO groups described work at Cal Poly for the project. This workshop kicked off the Alpha Test phase of the project. The entire project was successfully demoed in front of a live audience (us), and it worked beautifully. The Mission Control Client booked downlink sessions with the Ground Station Server, and the Ground Station Server controlled the radio and rotors at the AAU ground station (across the building). The running Authentication Server authenticated people and registered satellites on the network.

In February 2009, the ROBUSTA[8] project joined the GENSO initiative. ROBUSTA is the first French university CubeSat. The objective of the payload experiment is to measure the radiation induced degradation of electronic devices. Flight data will be compared to the results of a novel prediction method taking into account the Enhanced Low Dose Rate Sensitivity. The second interesting point of this project is that it's a real educational project. Although the system hasn't yet grown to the "hundreds" of ground stations identified in Alexandru Munteanu's Thesis from 2009,[9] testing and integration continue to proceed.

The GENSO project initiated under the guidance of the International Space Education Board (ISEB) has many existing capabilities and is accumulating the interest of large groups inside and outside of the United States. However, it is still lacking a fully equipped ground station that can complement its capabilities.

Since 2011, a great deal of work has been done on Release 1E of GENSO to help make it more user friendly and reliable for the Amateur Radio[10] community. Ground stations like the one at COSMIAC are now running 24/7 downloading data for educational satellites such as the University of Michigan RAX-2 spacecraft.

How GENSO works[edit]

The GENSO system is a software networking standard which allows a user to communicate with a spacecraft by using a remote ground station which has a clear view of the spacecraft. Communications between the client computer (a mission controlcomputer) and the ground station server are conducted across the Internet.[11] There are three major components to the GENSO system :

  • GSSGround Station Server
  • MCC - The Mission Control Client is the control station for a satellite. Each satellite will have one MCC. A GSS will see a snapshot of the satellite but only MCC will have the entire picture
  • AUS – The Authentication Server is the server that mediates communication between MCCs and GSSs on the GENSO network. When a ground station wants to join the network, the AUS permits them and then assigns them bookings to accomplish. The current AUS is located in Vigo, Spain and the backup is at Cal Poly: San Luis Obispo.

There are also three main components that the GENSO system remotely controls:

  • Rotator Controller
  • Terminal node control
  • Radio Controller

The GENSO software is written in Java. GENSO was developed and is currently maintained under the auspices of the European Space Agency (ESA).

List of members[edit]


ORGANIZATION (country) COMPONENT (satellite)
Aalto University (Finland) GSS
California Polytechnic State University (United States) GSS
Delft University of Technology (Netherlands) MCC (Delft)
ESOC (Germany) GSS
ESTEC (Netherlands) GSS
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Space Centre (Switzerland) MCC (SwissCube)
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Space Centre (Switzerland) GSS
Graz University of Technology (Austria) GSS
International Space University (France) GSS
Isis Space (Netherlands) GSS (UK) GSS
Polytechnic University of Catalonia (Spain) GSS
Radio Amateur – G3VZV (UK) GSS
Radio Amateur – G4DPZ (UK) GSS
Radio Amateur – KA0SWT (United States) GSS
Sergio Arboleda University (Colombia) GSS
University of Applied Sciences, Heidelberg (Germany) GSS
University of Kentucky (United States) GSS
University of Montpellier (France) GSS
University of New Mexico, Configurable Space Microsystems Innovations & Applications Centre (United States) GSS
University of Surrey, Surrey Space Centre (UK) GSS
University of Texas at Austin (United States) MCC (FASTRAC 1)
University of Texas at Austin (United States) MCC (FASTRAC 2)
University of Texas at Austin (United States) GSS
University of Valladolid (Spain) GSS
University of Vigo (Spain) AUS
University of Vigo (Spain) MCC (Test Satellites)
University of Vigo (Spain) MCC (Xatcobeo)
University of Vigo (Spain) GSS
University of York (UK) GSS
University of La Reunion, LIM, ESIROI IT Dept (Réunion/France)[13][14][15][16][17][18] GSS
Stanford Research Institute International & University of Michigan, College of Engineering MCC (RAX-2)
University of Michigan (United States) MCC (M-CUBED)
Sapienza University of Rome MCC (UniCubeSat-GG)
Warsaw University of Technology & Space Research Centre of Polish Academy of Sciences MCC (PW-Sat)
Politecnico di Torino (Italy) MCC (E-st@r)
Hungary MCC (MaSat-1)
IDeTIC-ULPGC (University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria) (Spain, Canary Islands) GSS

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "From Micro- to Nano... Seeking The Business Sweet-Spot" (PDF). Satmagazine: 17. January 2011. OCLC 173221287.
  2. ^ "GENSO: A Global Ground Station Network" (PDF).
  3. ^ "Global Educational Network for Satellite Operations". ESA.
  4. ^ "Cubesats". Missions | BIS. Archived from the original on 2013-10-04.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  5. ^ Leonard David (2004-09-10). "CubeSats: Tiny spacecraft, big payoffs".
  6. ^ David, Leonard. "Big News about Small Satellites: Cubesats Rule!".
  7. ^ "GENSO takes first steps". ESA. 2007-09-11.
  8. ^ "Robusta". Archived from the original on 2012-09-11. Retrieved 2012-07-30.
  9. ^ Alexandru Munteanu's Thesis
  10. ^ Craig Kief (May–June 2011). "GENSO – A Ground Station is a Terrible Thing to Waste" (PDF). AMSAT Journal.
  11. ^ "How GENSO works". Archived from the original on 2013-01-26. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
  12. ^ "ESA-Bulletin-149". ESA. p. 43.
  13. ^ "Cubesat Réunion Island Station, qu'est-ce que c'est ?". la Ptite Gazette de La Réunion (in French). 2003-03-01.
  14. ^ Siva, Baradi (8 February 2012). "L'ESIROI va lancer sa station satellite". Reunion Multimedia.
  15. ^ Dupuis, Alain (27 June 2012). "Des élèves ingénieurs réunionnais dans la course à l'espace". Le journal de l'Ile de La Réunion (in French).
  16. ^ "Une station satellite bientôt à l'école d'ingénieurs". L' (in French). 9 May 2012.
  17. ^ "Une station pour capter les micro-satellites". Le Quotidien de la Réunion (in French). February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Yepes, M. (March 2012). "CRIS bientôt dans l'espace grâce à l'ESIROI" (PDF). Memento (in French).[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]