Mission Operations

Cross-functionally building the hardware and software systems for advance aerospace control

What We Do

Our highly experienced Flight Dynamics and Mission Operations Engineers have expertise providing full lifecycle spacecraft operations supporting complex programs for NASA, the military and other government agencies. Our areas of expertise include Pre-Mission Support, Flight Dynamics and Conjunction Assessment, Orbital Mechanics, Ascent Trajectories, Rendezvous Proximity Operations, Flight Operations, Ground Systems Engineering and all aspects of Spacecraft Subsystem Engineering. Our engineers have been integral part of various mission from Pre-Launch to On-orbit operations across NASA and other government agencies developing CONOPS, testing Simulators, conducting Readiness Testing, supporting Lights Out Operations and developing Automation. Our multidisciplinary experience and multifunctional approach has resulted in award worthy recognition from customers including NASA and NOAA for high fidelity operations support across missions.

Our Recent Projects

Click on each project below to learn more about what we did to drive it to success.

EOS - Aqua, Aura, Terra

USGS - LandSat

GPM - Flight Dynamics

EOS - Aqua, Aura, Terra

NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) is comprised of several low inclination, polar-orbiting satellites. This system of satellites provide long-term global study of Earth's land, atmosphere and oceans which gives scientists and researchers a deeper understanding of Earth as an integrated system.  

Relative Dynamics provides real time satelitte operations, and subsystem engineering support for all spacecraft subsystems including Flight Software, GNC, EPS/TCS.

The Aqua satellite is tasked with providing a 6-year time-lapse of the planet and its processes with a focus on precipitation, atmospheric temperature and humidity profiles and radiative balance.

The Aura mission studies air quality, climate and stratospheric ozone depletion.  

Terra studies the connections between our atmosphere, land, snow, ice, ocean, and energy balance to understand climate change, the impact of human activity and natural disasters.

USGS - LandSat

The US Geological Survey LandSat program allow scientists to use high-level data and imaging to better document changes to the terrestrial environment of Earth.

Relative Dynamics provides spacecraft systems expertise & ground systems development for this program.

Since 1972, this program has been cataloging images of Earth's surface and provide uninterrupted data that have not only helped scientists, but also policymakers to make informed decisions about Earth's resources and our environment.

GPM - Flight Dynamics

The Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) is an international satellite mission that is documenting and observing global precipitation every three hours.  GPM was launched as a collaboration between NASA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) in 2014, setting the new standard for precipitation measurement from space.

The GPM mission improves the forecasting of extreme events that cause natural disasters by advancing our planet's water and energy cycles.

Relative Dynamics has the privilege of leading the Flight Dynamics group and providing expertise on CARA and Collision Avoidance systems.

Employee Spotlights

  • What does a typical day look like for you?

    As a Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GNC) Engineer for the Aqua and Aura satellites, I typically start my day by looking at a report of spacecraft telemetry from the previous day to ensure that no anomalies have occurred. After checking the daily report, I normally jump back into one of the projects that I'm working on.

    One of those projects is to develop the process for performing a retrograde delta-v maneuver, something the spacecraft were not originally designed to do when they were launched in 2002 (Aqua) and 2004 (Aura). This often involves running multiple simulations to test what would happen in a nominal case, but also to understand what could happen if a contingency were to occur during the maneuver. We need to make sure that rotating the spacecraft doesn't prevent them from being able to generate solar power, and doesn't cause sunlight to damage the sensitive science instruments.

    As the GNC Engineer, I'm also involved in performing propulsive maneuvers which keep the spacecraft in their proper orbits.  Or on rare, but exciting occasions, I get to maneuver the spacecraft away from potential collisions with space junk.

    Ricky Burcat (read more)

    EOS - Aqua, Aura, Terra

  • What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

    On a daily basis my job is to operate the satellite TERRA. I have to monitor the health and safety of the satellite to make sure all operations are going smoothly. I am also responsible for making sure that all the scientific data the spacecraft records get collected on the ground correctly. In the most simple terms, everyday at work, I get to fly a satellite that is 700 km above the earths surface, which is pretty cool.

    Aakash Patel (Read More)

    Aerospace Engineer

  • Why did you choose to work at Relative Dynamics?

    Relative Dynamics is a great company that does a lot of important and interesting work. They were very accommodating and worked with me while I finished my undergraduate courses and made the transition into the workforce, full-time.

    Jordan Logue (Read More)

    EOS - Aqua, Aura, Terra

  • What are some of the opportunities for growth and mentorship that you have seen?

    I have been given the opportunity to teach and help new team members each day that I've been on the project.  As an experienced engineer, I have been asked to lead and help others through the process from the very beginning.

    Thomas Just (Read More)

    LMO Program

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