Ground station procurement

We have over 30 year’s continuous experience in the design, integration and commissioning of high performance ground stations.

We act on behalf of our clients to provide high calibre designs and project management together with impartial 3rd party selection of equipment and services.

Our aim is to remove the technical risk of a project and so permit our client to concentrate on business development with the assurance that the station will be available on time, meet their specification, and in budget.

Preparation

Project definition

During our initial meeting we determine our client’s requirements whilst identifying options and constraints (physical, financial and timescale).

We also discuss expansion plans, staffing and circuit / equipment migration.

Survey

Prior to attending the site survey we review the space segment power budgets as these will determine the size of each antenna and hence the size of plot required. It also allows us to calculate the azimuth and elevation range for each antenna which in-turn aids placement (especially important if the plot is small or to be situated on a roof).

We conduct very comprehensive site surveys. Our survey form is currently 22 pages long and consequently takes around a day to complete. We also recommend undertaking a RFI survey at most new sites.

If required, our structural engineer can conduct the soil survey and / or roof survey.

Design

Upon return to our office we draw a 3D plan of the site detailing the precise positioning of the antennas so that each has an un-obstructed view towards the required spacecraft(s).

Our system design documents contain a detailed description of the proposed Ground station supported by calculations of RF signal levels, electrical power requirements, air-conditioning and environmental requirements as well as system availability figures.

Our long experience in installing and provisioning complex stations means that we identify potential risks and produce cost effective hardware redundancy schemes. This along with writing detailed maintenance plans ensures that the station achieves the highest availability figures.

Contractor selection

Once the specification has been defined we produce a technical RFP that can be released to system integrators.

When the tenders are submitted we review the technical responses on behalf of our client.

Most clients already have a building contractor who will look after the civil engineering, ductwork, power distribution, buildings and HVAC although we can source and interview prospective sub-contractors if required

Implementation

Project management

When the project gets underway we act as the clients technical supervisor and manage the Preliminary design review (PDR), Critical design review (CDR) and scheduled Design review (DRM) meetings.

We provide regular reporting incorporating (Microsoft Project TM) Gantt charts.

If an on-site Clerk of works is required (ensuring sub-contractors are on site at the required times) then we can provide this also.

Acceptance and documentation

When the system is built we review the acceptance test procedures and then witness the tests conducted by the installer.

We also write the maintenance plan and produce the standard operating procedures manual.

Post completion

Staff selection

We determine the staffing required and produce the recruiting profile for each position.

Once the recruiting agencies have identified potential staff we review each CV and assist in the compilation of a short list and then conduct the technical interviews.

Training

We write and present bespoke training courses for each level of technical staff; each course covering implementation, operation and maintenance.