Jules Verne ATV Demonstration Day 1 sequence of events

ESA's ATV Control Centre, Toulouse
29 March 2008

Today, mission controllers at ESA's ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France, will pace Jules Verne through a crucial series of manoeuvres designed to demonstrate the vessel's navigation capabilities.

Today's manoeuvres will confirm that ATV can perform navigation with respect to the International Space Station using relative GPS to successfully and safely manoeuvre the ATV to a specific station point, S2, located 3.5 km behind the ISS and at approximately the same orbital altitude. The procedure is scheduled to start at 15:19 CET.

Sequence of events

Note: all times subject to change

Time CET    Activity                    Distance to ISS15:19       Depart station point S-1/2  39 km16:05       Arrive at station point S1  15.5 km16:51       Arrive at station point S2  3.5 km18:29-18:36 Perform 'Escape' from S2    3.5 km
ATV Demonstration Day 1 profile (click for larger version)

ATV was commanded to leave its so-called 'parking orbit', 2000 km ahead of the ISS, on 27 March, and has since then conducted a series manoeuvres using thruster burns to arrive at station point S-1/2.

In relative navigation, both the ATV and the ISS will determine their locations using satellite GPS signals, and then the data will be compared between the two to achieve an even more precise location determination. This procedure is necessary for close-proximity manoeuvring.

The Escape manoeuvre is one of the contingency procedures that can be commanded by the ISS crew or from the ATV Control Centre. It is similar to the Collision Avoidance Manoeuvre (CAM) that was successfully demonstrated on 14 March, in that commanding an Escape results in the ATV moving away from the ISS, withdrawing to a safe location. After today's Escape, Jules Verne will fly around the ISS and return to station point S1.

After Demonstration Day 1, the results will be assessed by the ESA JADOR (Jules Verne ATV Demonstration Objectives Report) team and submitted to the ISS Mission Management Team; after an assessment and authorisation on 30 March, ATV can proceed to Demonstration Day 2 (including an approach to within 11 m of the ISS).

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