Working Group E

Working Groups

Working Group E

Leaping into the Future: How Innovations and Technological Advances will Enable Economically sustainable Next Generation Ground and Flight System Architectures


Wednesday – February 28, 2024
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM PT


In this Working Group (WG), we intend to stimulate a heated yet healthy discussion on how to ensure that future ground and flight system architectures remain economically sustainable. Our thesis is that: to realize, and sustain, such cost-efficient systems, the Government must adapt to an enterprise framework while embracing innovations and disruptive technological changes. We will first examine the current state of operational systems in support of weather and land imaging satellites, including NOAA, NASA, USGS, and the Defense Sector, primarily domestic but also some international perspective. The WG will address performance limitations and bottlenecks the current architectures face, especially with new satellite systems and ever-expanding data streams from both earth monitoring and space weather satellites. The WG will then examine innovations and disruptive technological changes that have emerged in recent years that carry the promise to transform ground and flight systems into a more efficient, resilient, cost effective, architecture of the future. The WG will engage the audience in identifying how these changes will impact the future operational aspects of the ground and flight sectors. This includes the emergence of new business models, promoting smaller satellites systems, realizing cheaper and stronger on orbit and on the ground, processing resources, highly automated Command and Control, as well as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning (AI/ML/DL) capabilities across the value chain. The WG will, time permitting, address other examples such as multi-mission satellite operations in a common enterprise cloud environment, highly automated fleet and observatory management, analysis and trending of sensor and spacecraft State-of-Health, monitoring of instrument and spacecraft payload telemetry, and anomaly monitoring and recovery. The WG will advocate economically sustainable enterprise architectures that also provide common services to support of expanding and new missions and science needs, and to enable new data and information products.

Proposed Format:

The WG will consist of 5-6 members including decision makers and subject matter experts from various agencies. The format of this WG will consist of a mix of presentation of position statements, directed questions, followed by a lively interactive discussion focusing on different aspects of innovations and disruptive technological changes the ground and flight segments continue to experience at the present, in the near future, and in the not-so-near future. We will drive the discussion by well-prepared provocative questions and pull no punches in challenging various schools of thought. The directed questions may include:

  • What specific underlying segments of prevalent ground and flight system architectures are most ripe amenable to undergo disruptive, yet untested, technological advances?
  • Is full adoption hindered by an objective, justified prioritization, or is it the ugly Resistance to Change factor?
  • What are some specific aggressive advanced technologies that have been implemented and proven to deliver on their promise, and some proven to be duds.
  • What are the organizational and technological barriers against adopting new technologies? How can we fix that?
  • What are some of the barriers to technology innovation adoption in the federal government?
Leads Raad Saleh, NOAA and Ruma Das, NASA


Dr. Raad Saleh is a staff Engineer with the System Architecture and Engineering Office (SAE) of NESDIS, NOAA. Before NOAA, Ra’ad was the USGS as the Innovation Lead with the EROS Calibration and Validation Center of Excellence; and earlier with the Astrogeology Science Center, in Flagstaff, AZ, working on planetary surface mapping in support of planetary space exploration. Ra’ad has several publications on ground systems, enterprise architecture, and advanced satellite sensing systems and automation.

Dr. Ruma Das is the Deputy Office Chief for CIS and has more than 20 years of experience in information technology, cybersecurity, enterprise architecture, and program management, in both public and private sectors. For CIS, Ruma leads the engagement teams, while also managing the office’s capabilities studies.