The objectives of the experimental station can be summarized as follows:
One constraint for the system design, is a high minimum elevation angle (e.g. 30°) for the downlink and the use of COTS products to keep the cost low. Figure 2 shows the standard coverage area of a 5° minimum elevation and the coverage of 30° minimum elevation for the EGS.
The final aim of an autonomous ground station would be to give the user only the information he needs, without involving him in data reception and image processing activities too much. Thematic data reduction trough regional limitation of data to be received can be considered as a first step towards this ideal case. In most cases the raw data is analyzed manually by scientist and huge amounts of data must be archived. This takes a lot of time and the cost is high. One possible solution to this problem is the automatic processing of data immediately after it has been received.
Contribution to cost reduction in small satellite projects with low-cost ground stations makes more sense, if the station is also capable of commanding the satellite, for example "because many customers want to operate spacecraft from their own facilities with new technologies" . It is therefore important to analyze the capabilities and limits of such a low-cost station in conjunction with a small satellite. EGS commanding functions will be tested in cooperation with GSOC.