Command & Data Handling


The command and data-handling system acts as the brain for the satellite, controlling all the satellite’s functions and operations. Courtesy of NASA, some examples of what the system controls are:

  • managing all forms of data on the spacecraft
  • carrying out commands sent from Earth
  • preparing data for transmission to Earth
  • managing collection of solar power and charging the batteries
  • collecting and processing information about all subsystems and payloads
  • keeping and distributing the spacecraft internal clock time
  • calculating the spacecraft’s position in orbit
  • carrying out commanded maneuvers
  • autonomously monitoring and responding to a wide range of on-board problems that might occur

This system used to be considered part of another satellite subsystem until on-board computers became more common. Now, C&DH handles much of the processing work from the main telemetry system. C&DH uses reliable, redundant processors to prevent calculation errors.


Related Links

Website: C&DH (Space Systems Laboratory)

Website: C&DH (NASA)

Wikipedia: On-board data handling