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Satellite Tasking via a Tablet Computer

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Tablet computing has the potential to reshape the scope of situational awareness. This is because application developers have derived uses for tablet devices that the original inventors did not intend and could not have imagined. One such application is to provide the ability for the warfighter to directly request aerial images from overhead assets, including unmanned aerial vehicles or satellites. Advancements in mobile technology and network connectivity have helped to overcome the challenges of information delivery, but there remains the challenge of real-time information. This thesis examines the concept of tablet-based information requests for real-time satellite tasking. As a proof-of concept, a tablet-based application is developed that enables the user to task a satellite system by interacting with a map. Requests are sent and processed by a server application and are then routed to the appropriate asset. Real-time response to the request is emulated using a detailed simulation model of a control moment gyroscope actuated spacecraft. Simulated images and spacecraft attitude errors are used to mimic the data collection process. This information is uploaded to the server for retrieval by the tablet application, thereby completing the request cycle and demonstrating the feasibility of remote satellite tasking using a tablet computer.

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