What applications and missions does RF Payload Systems enable?
The work of RF Payload Systems includes the definition and analysis of new technologies and new architectural concepts for future Telecom, Navigation and Earth observing payloads.
This includes the ESA-fostered Alphabus class of telecommunication satellites with enhanced onboard power and data handling. Payload Systems also has responsibility for the design and deployment of ESA's EGNOS and Galileo satellite navigation systems.
The availability of onboard radio navigation receivers has influenced the design of multiple missions, such as the GOCE and LISA Pathfinder spacecraft which both require extremely accurate positioning control. That is equally true of the forthcoming Proba-3 mission, a two-satellite technology demonstrator designed to establish the concept of highly-controllable formation flying in space.
Payload Systems also enables science instruments such as the radio-based CONSERT and MIRO sensors aboard the Rosetta mission, designed to return information about cometary surfaces and surrounding dust, and the radiometer-based Planck mission, mapping variations in the Cosmic Microwave Background to a greater accuracy than ever before.
In addition RF Payload Systems has supported the development of novel Earth observing instruments for future missions including the radiometer measuring both soil moisture on land and salinity levels in the ocean on the SMOS mission whose instrument concept was initially developed in the division, the atmospheric radar and radiometer flown aboard EarthCARE and the next-generation SAR instrument destined for the Sentinel-1 radar satellite.
Last update: 29 September 2009