Polish Ground Support Equipment for ESA Probes and Satellites

  • Start rakiety nośnej Chang Zheng-5, Fot. Youtube
    Start rakiety nośnej Chang Zheng-5, Fot. Youtube

Astri Polska company is working on another ESGE (Electrical Ground Support Equipment) package, dedicated for being used with the European NeoSat and MetOp-SG satellites, and with the JUICE probe. The aforesaid hardware would make it possible to test the onboard electronics of the satellites, prior to their launch, and to validate the ground stations responsible for establishing a communications link with the satellites. The aforesaid initiatives are being implemented as a part of work performed for ESA. 

European Platform for the New Generation of Telecommunication Satellites

The electronic systems department at the Astri Polska company is currently working on more devices, dedicated for being used within the NeoSat programme. Simulation Frond End was the first piece of kit that has been delivered back in March this year.  Ultimately, Astri Polska is to deliver one more, identical device. The company would also be tasked with manufacturing another two pieces of kit: Simulated Electrical Flight Model. Both types of devices will be utilized by Airbus Defence and Space to test the electronics of the NeoSat satellites.

The goal of the NeoSat programme is to create a new generation of European telecommunications satellite platform. The innovative solutions applied within the programme would allow for optimization of the power systems efficiency, and enhancement of the satellite’s payload carrying capacity. Ultimately, the NeoSat programme is going to make it possible to cut down the telecommunication satellites maintenance cost by 30%, in comparison with other contemporary designs.

ESGE for NeoSat programme, in production at Astri Polska. Image Credit: Astri Polska

New Generation of Weather Satellite. Polish Involvement.

In May this year Astri Polska has delivered the first Simulation Front End package for the MetOp-SG weather satellites. The aforesaid device was the first one of three examples ordered by ESA. In the upcoming future, the company is going to initiate work on further ESGE systems, this time the work would concern Simulated Electrical Flight Models and RF Suitcases. The latter would be used to conduct testing and validation of the ground stations responsible for maintaining the communications link with the orbiting satellites.

MetOp-SG is a European weather satellites programme. The mission of the aforesaid satellite platform is to deliver weather data for the purpose of climate monitoring and increasing the accuracy of weather forecasting. The programme is a joint undertaking pursued by ESA and EUMETSAT. Currently, two first generation MetOp satellites are present in the outer space. Astri Polska is involved in the Metop-SG (second generation) project, the goal of which is to place 2nd generation satellites in the orbit.

Read more: Polish Testing Equipment for the European Weather Satellites

Astri Polska’s Involvement in the Jupiter Probe Programme

JUICE (JUpiter ICy moons Explorer) remains one of the main projects within the ESA’s “Cosmic Vision 2015-2025” long-term plan. JUICE probe is to reach the Jupiter (2030), and throughout at least 3 years it would be tasked with execution of detailed observations of the gas giant and its three icy moons: Ganymede, Callisto and Europa. The probe is to be launched in 2022. Airbus Defence and Space acts as the prime contractor within the project.

JUICE Probe. Image Credit: ESA

Astri Polska would be tasked with delivering software (Real Time Simulation) and two ground-maintenance system packages (Simulation Front End). The aforesaid solutions would allow for execution of electronic systems tests for the probe, and they would also make it possible to obtain a preliminary view of its operation. The tests are to take place before the probe is sent into the orbit, thanks to which it would remain possible to introduce potential modifications to its systems. The equipment mentioned above will be delivered later, in 2018. 

Read more: Polish Company Involved in the JUICE Mission