Connecting Distant Spacecraft To Earth
The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (TDRS) System is NASA’s network of specialized communications satellites that orbit 22,300 miles above the Earth. As the name suggests, TRDS allows NASA and other agencies to communicate to and from satellites, spacecraft and the International Space Station via ground control stations on Earth. General Dynamics has supported TDRS program for 30+ years through our work in helping NASA operate, upgrade and maintain the ground system terminals.
TDRS Ground System
General Dynamics Mission Systems successfully completed critical ground system modifications and technology updates needed to support the mission of NASA's three, next-generation Tracking and Data Relay Satellites (TDRS). Modifications to the ground system, located in New Mexico, included integrating advanced command, control and communications equipment and systems. The work was done without interrupting the day-to-day operations of the TDRS constellation, which connects the space agency's spacecraft, including the Hubble Space Telescope and International Space Station, to mission-critical ground systems.
In addition to supporting the TDRS mission from the ground since 1983, General Dynamics is the prime contractor for NASA's Space Network Ground Segment Sustainment (SGSS) project that is modernizing all of NASA's space network ground communication systems and provides for continuous ground system technology and system upgrades for the next 25 years.
General Dynamics leads the modernization of the TDRS ground system as a subcontractor to The Boeing Company, the prime contractor responsible for building the three next-generation TDRS satellites. TDRS satellites maintain a geosynchronous orbit where they have a wide view of Earth. From that position, the satellites pick up signals from NASA's fleet of Earth-orbiting spacecraft, relaying their signals to the White Sands ground station.