SMOS platform ready to meet MIRAS payload
The satellite platform, which provides the structural attachment to the launcher and the 'infrastructure' for the mission, is now ready to meet the SMOS MIRAS (Microwave Imaging Radiometer using Aperture Synthesis) payload.
The assembly and the integration of the SMOS-dedicated platform has just been completed and cumulated in the formal Delivery Review Board which analysed the history of the individual subsystems along with the assembly process. The formal acceptance took place on 9 October 2006.
Based upon the generic PROTEUS (Plateforme Reconfigu-rable pour l’Observation, les Télecommunications et les Usages Scientifiques) platform, developed by the French Space Agency CNES and Alcatel Alenia Space (AAS), the SMOS platform is part of a 'Five Platform Contract', and was provided to the SMOS project as a contribution-in-kind.
The platform provides the services to the payload that are necessary to operate the satellite, namely: orbit and attitude control, power generation and conditioning, communication with the ground and in-orbit command and control. Its design is already proven through the Jason and CALIPSO missions, which are currently both in orbit.
The only missing item now is the flight software – this has to be tailored to the SMOS-specific requirements and will be tested on an independent so-called validation bench before adding it to the system next year.
Following the formal acceptance today, the platform will be stored at Alcatel Alenia's premises in Cannes, France until it is merged with the MIRAS payload, which is still under development at EADS-CASA in Spain.