Harris Corporation

Customer Profile: Satellite Telemetry

Real-Time Satellite Command and Control

Government and commercial aerospace programs rely on Harris Corporation to deliver mission-critical systems and software solutions for command and control of satellite ground stations. Harris’ OS/COMET is used to support both single-satellite missions and the largest, most complex satellite networks deployed today, including Iridium Satellite LLC, the only provider of truly global satellite voice and data solutions.


  • uses configurable, reusable software
  • connects to satellite ground stations that monitor and control thousands of telemetry points
  • presents real-time models moving in relationship to craft trajectories
  • features interactivity that allows operators to access database information for selected objects
  • monitors on-board relay status, voltages/amperages, power levels, temperature and bus states

With thousands of telemetry points, monitoring satellite status in a text-oriented manner is virtually impossible. Large displays of numerical data are difficult to interpret. OS/COMET integrates SL-GMS dynamic displays to present real-time, visual models of spacecraft information. OS/COMET’s “At A Glance” hierarchical system incorporates the SL-GMS Run-Time Library to present information in a coherent and organized fashion.

The operator can quickly isolate a subsystem or a component with just a click and traverse a model of the spacecraft captured in the hierarchy. The graphic interface closely resembles the components represented and reflects the current position of relays, the state of buses, active power levels, thermometers, and dials indicating the voltage or amperage in a battery. SL-GMS dynamic graphics display in real-time the current status of the system and change colors to indicate alarm conditions.

Most satellites require displays six to ten levels deep, and a typical small satellite has eighty individual screen displays. Displays of subsystems are group objects built by combining objects representing individual components. More complex systems are then described by assembling several group objects into a larger object. In all cases, the functionality and dynamics of the individual components are maintained in the group object, providing the operator with a view of a system’s functions and interactions.