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 SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history
26.04.2017 | Southwest Research Institute

nachricht New survey hints at exotic origin for the Cold Spot
26.04.2017 | Royal Astronomical Society

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: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Scientist invents way to trigger artificial photosynthesis to clean air

26.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli

26.04.2017 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

SwRI-led team discovers lull in Mars' giant impact history

26.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>