October 26, 2011
Successful tests of Metop-B satellite
This month, the final 'factory-based' tests took place and the Metop-B satellite passed with flying colours.
In May 2012 EUMETSAT will launch a new weather satellite into space — to be known as Metop-B. The Satellite System Verification Tests (SSVT-5) are designed to validate the telemetry processing and telecommand generation at EUMETSAT control centre. Passing all the tests is vital before a satellite can be accepted by EUMETSAT and ESA and then released by the manufacturer Astrium.
Both the operational team and industry partners were involved in four days of intensive testing, where all Monitoring and Control System functions were exercised and all satellite subsystems commanded.
The Testing Teams
In the EUMETSAT EPS control centre
The tests were managed and conducted by the EPS operations team from the validation ground segment (GS2) and, for a short period, from the operational ground segment (GS1). The team was commanding the Flight Model 1 of the series of the three Metop satellites.
During the four days, EUMETSAT:
In the operation support team room
Representatives from industry and partners were also at EUMETSAT headquarters remotely following the testing, using tools developed and maintained by EUMETSTAT.
The team of 26 comprised of representatives from:
In the Astrium, Toulouse Clean Room
At the Astrium Toulouse premises, the AIT (Assembly Integration and Test) Team prepared the satellite for the tests and continuously monitored the health of the satellite. This team was mainly people from industry and partners involved in the EPS programme.
Special Radio Frequency (RF) tests were also conducted at Toulouse, to validate the compatibility of the refurbished A-HPRT system with the existing Reference User Station (RUS) hardware.
ESA-ESOC needs to perform their own test to demonstrate readiness to perform the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP). The results of these tests are added to the Flight Acceptance Review (FAR), which itself is an input to the Launch and Operations Readiness Review (LORR). After a successful LORR, activities can begin to prepare the satellite for shipping to the launch site in Baikonur.
In EUMETSAT the training and the rehearsals of the operational team continues. Four months before launch the partners will meet again for the Satellite In-Orbit Verification (SIOV) Simulations.