Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Finnish satellite testing system to ESA

09.03.2007
Finnish technology helps uncover the secrets of the universe

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has designed and constructed a satellite testing system called > '> RF Suitcase> '> for the Herschel / Planck mission of the European Space Agency (ESA). The purpose of the RF (Radio Frequency) Suitcase is to demonstrate the RF compatibility between spacecraft and ground stations prior to launch and to test the uplink and downlink functional and performance characteristics.

Among others, the values of several tens of configuration parameters for the ground stations are determined, such that each ground station can immediately communicate with the two satellites, once they are released from the launcher. The RF Suitcase also simulates the basic characteristics of the telecommand and telemetry data of the spacecraft and thus for a ground-station operator it will seem like he or she would be communicating with a real satellite.

VTT is commissioned by the French company Alcatel Alenia Space to design and construct this satellite testing system for Herschel and Planck satellites to be delivered to ESA.

The RF parts of the RF Suitcase operating in X-band are engineering models that are similar to actual flight hardware. A set of programmable RF attenuators are used to simulate the propagation losses between the spacecraft and ground stations over a distance of about 1.5 million km. These RF parts together with Telecommand and Telemetry Simulator are integrated into a single transportable cabinet. Furthermore, the cabinet includes a user-friendly control and monitoring subsystem that enables local and remote operation of the RF suitcase.

The satellite testing system is traditionally called RF Suitcase, because it should be able to travel to test-locations, where it is too risky or too expensive to ship a real satellite. The unit, which is approximately 175 cm high and weight over 200 kg, has wheels to make it easy to move. The unit was transported to Turin in a specially constructed transportation container for first tests in spring 2006.

The system was then delivered to ESA for a test campaign at the satellite control centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The final tests at Herschel-frequency are foreseen in summer 2007. Prior to the launch of the real satellites, which is scheduled for mid 2008, the RF Suitcase will be used in various complementary tests to demonstrate that communications between ground stations and the satellites will function.

The Herschel satellite is an astronomical telescope sensitive to infrared radiation. Its main purpose is to investigate the history of how planets, stars and galaxies formed from cold gas and dust clouds and to study how they continue to form in our own and other galaxies. Planck will look back at the dawn of time, close to the Big Bang, by observing the most ancient radiation in the Universe, known as the 'cosmic microwave background'. Together, Herschel and Planck form the largest scientific deep-space mission ever undertaken in Europe. Both satellites will be launched on board Ariane 5 from French Guiana in mid 2008.

VTT has previously delivered RF Suitcases to ESA for the Soho and Cluster satellites.

Sirpa Posti | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esa.int/esaSC/120398_index_0_m.html
http://www.vtt.fi/?lang=en

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life
17.08.2017 | Goldschmidt Conference

nachricht Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors
17.08.2017 | American Institute of Physics

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>