How GENSO works
Access to the GENSO network is possible via one of the two main software applications. Ground station operators run a Ground Station Server (GSS) and mission controllers run a Mission Control Client (MCC). This secure access is controlled by the GENSO Authentication Server (AUS), which ensures at all times that the entities participating in the network are allowed to do so.
During a pass, the ground station receives data from the satellite, which is stored locally by the GSS. The GSS then notifies the AUS, which in turn notifies the MCC owning the satellite. The MCC can then retrieve the data directly from the GSS (data is not stored in the AUS). Data may therefore be inspected or replayed locally at either GSS or MCC.
Authentication Server (AUS)
The AUS acts as the central core of the network. This centralised element provides the necessary cohesion and orchestration services for an otherwise distributed system. It is under the control of the network operator for the European Operations Node at the University of Vigo, Spain.
The tasks of the AUS are to validate the identity of instances of the GSS and MCC when they log on, maintain up-to-date lists of the attributes and statuses of all GENSO ground stations and spacecraft and distribute these lists to instances of the GSS and MCC as requested and necessary. It acts as a repository of pass metadata (e.g. which GSS has tracked which spacecraft and when).
With further development of the software, it would be possible to add more authentication servers to the network, for redundancy purposes.
Ground Station Server (GSS)
The GSS application, when logged on to the Authentication Server, allows participating GENSO ground stations to automatically track and establish downlink sessions with all compatible participating spacecraft – of course prioritising the owner’s spacecraft if they have one.
The GSS application is also used for upload of telecommands to compatible spacecraft (if allowed by the station owner, spacecraft operators and local law). Optional automated scheduling and booking negotiations with the MCC can establish dedicated passes for particular missions.
Mission Control Client (MCC)
The MCC application allows participating GENSO spacecraft to be automatically tracked by all compatible ground stations in the network. Downloaded data will then be transferred to the MCC shortly after the pass, regardless of the station location.
Capable ground stations which operators chose to trust can also be used for uplink to the spacecraft, and users can request dedicated remote passes which the MCC will negotiate and book on their behalf with instances of the GSS.