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.
APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie
First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science
The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.
Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...
A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...
At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.
At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...
There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
25.05.2018 | Event News
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Event News
25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering
25.05.2018 | Life Sciences