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This paper discusses the application of the end-to-end principle to ground station systems. It states that lower layers of systems should support the widest possible variety of services and functions. This is applied to ground stations to derive a core set of services that are used across multiple missions while separating out mission specific services. A hierarchical model is developed that describes these services and layers them based on autonomy levels. Given this model, the paper briefly describes the reference architecture and open source implementation, called Mercury.
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