This section presents a general description of the U.S. Air Force Satellite Control Facility Concepts of operation.


The AFSCF supports DoD space and missiles programs as prescribed by the program office. All AFSCF support of a particular space program is managed by an AFSCF Mission Director who is the single point of contact with the program office and other external agencies on all matters pertaining to that space program. Eight separate Mission control Complexes, each capable of controlling multiple simultaneous satellite passes, provide a fixed operating base for each space program. Contractor manned Mission Control teams assigned to each Mission

Control Complex provide around-the-clock control of the program satellites. All Mission Control complexes are located at the Satellite Test Center, Sunnyvale, Cal. to facilitate inter-program planning and coordination.


A World-Wide network of AFSCF Remote Tracking Stations provides 24-hour-per-day revolution-by-revelolution contact with all program satellites. The Remote Tracking Stations are functionally identical sites which are quipped with common hardware and software and operated and maintained using standard procedures and practices to the greatest extent possible. Station operation, maintenance, logistics and training are provided under contract to the USAF. The AFSCF resources are controlled by Range Control and Scheduling periods of program use. Through careful weekly and daily scheduling all programs requirements are merged and matched with available range resources in such a way that each programs requirements are satisfied to the maximum extent possible. Close liaison between Mission Control allows for prompt resource commitment in vehicle emergency situations. Through cooperation with other national test ranges the network can be augmented for critical operations such as launch and early Orbit support.


An Automated TT&C capability using a single computer, standard Space-Ground Link Subsystem (SALSA) equipment and a single high performance TT&C antenna exists at each Remote Tracking Station. The SGLS TT&C antennas provide fast computer-assisted acquisition, precise auto-tracking and accurate angle and range/range rate tracking data. Digital commands are stored by the remote Tracking Station computer and transmitted by SGLS equipment to the satellite under computer control as directed by the Mission Controller. UHF transmit equipment augments the SGLS capability. Digital PCM telemetry is received by the SGLS equipment, computer processed and shipped to the Satellite Test Center in real-time for display in the Mission Control Complex Unprocessed payload telemetry is shipped to the STS or to a user facility over a wideband circuit in realtime or postpass.

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