CryoSat takes significant step towards final completion
CryoSat satellite design
the CryoSat satellite platform being constructed in the spacecraft integration facility at Astrium GmbH, Friedrichshafen, Germany.
CryoSat, the first Earth Explorer mission within ESA’s Living Planet Programme, is now entering the final phase of assembly prior to its scheduled launch next year.
CryoSat is designed to measure changes in the Earth’s terrestrial and marine ice fields and aims to provide conclusive evidence as to whether there is a trend towards diminishing polar ice cover as a result of climate change.
The first part of the Critical Design Review (CDR), which was successfully completed on 13 June, confirmed that the flight configuration design is compliant with the key design requirements and can now be integrated and tested. This step marks the beginning of the final phase of assembly of the spacecraft.
The principal purpose of the first part of the CryoSat Space Segment CDR was to review the spacecraft functionality and interfaces amongst each of its sub-systems. A second phase of the CDR will begin at the end of October to check that the final design of the spacecraft and its instrument sub-systems are capable of meeting the stringent system requirements and that the mission meets its primary scientific goals.
Construction of the satellite platform that hosts the SIRAL instrument and other sub-systems has already begun at the prime contractor Astrium GmbH’s test and integration facility in Friedrichshafen, Germany. Prototype models of key sub-systems such as the SIRAL, Central Data Management Unit, Star-trackers and Mass Memory Unit are concurrently undergoing testing. At sub-system level various suppliers around Europe, Russia and the US are contributing to the CryoSat satellite.
In parallel to the Space Segment CDR, the Ground Segment Design Review began on 19 June at ESRIN in Frascati, Italy and has now also been successfully completed. The purpose of this review was to thoroughly assess the completeness and consistency of the current Ground Segment design, together with the suitability of testing and quality control plans.
The completion of these two major milestones paves the way for the launch of CryoSat in late 2004 from Plesetsk in Russia.
| European Space Agency
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...