The ultimate goal of the SPAM project is to increase the reliability of satellite operations by giving commercial and government satellite operators and designers a tool to monitor the real time likelihood of on-orbit satellite anomalies and quickly identify the cause. More specifically, the first phase of the project developed and assessed a model that provides information needed to identify whether a satellite anomaly is likely to occur or was caused by an impact from a Solar Energetic Particle (SEP). These high energy ions stream from the sun and can pass through satellite components causing instantaneous failure, latent damage, or uncommanded mode changes. Fortunately, Earth’s magnetic field deflects some of these particles and shields some regions of near Earth space. To assess the anomaly likelihood, these access regions must be well defined. The SPAM model maps the access regions and gives the ion flux along any satellite orbit as it traverses these hazardous areas. There are two main objectives for Phase II to move this innovation forward. The first is to integrate the model into an online application that will allow users to easily access and interpret the model output. This aspect of the project will make real time monitoring and anomaly analysis feasible and routine. The second objective is to further improve the accuracy of the model, extend the domain to apply to more particle species and energies that may impact satellites, estimate uncertainties, and also enable forecasting. This aspect of the project will make real time monitoring and anomaly analysis precise and actionable. This project fully addresses the ‘Space Weather O2R/R2O Technology Development’ subtopic solicitation by providing both an energetic particle model and the means for spacecraft operators and designers to access, analyze, and act on the model information to minimize hazards to operations.
Phase II of the SPAM project will create a tool to monitor the real time likelihood of on-orbit satellite anomalies and identify the cause. This tool can be used by NASA satellite operators to monitor the fleet of NASA satellite missions near Earth. The tool will provide operators with insights into the radiation hazards and allow them to make informed decisions about managing the satellite fleet resulting in more reliable missions.
The satellite anomaly monitoring and analysis tool developed by this project will be useful to both NASA and non-NASA satellite operators and designers. The tool will be accessible to all interested users via a web application. It tool will also include web services so that it can be easily integrated into satellite design tools commonly used by commercial satellite companies.