Walloon Region project in the frame of the aerospace cluster SKYWIN 2009 – 2014. The project goal is to follow and even anticipate the general trend in Earth Observation: increase of the spatial resolution within the dimensional limitations of a microsatellite, develop acceptable and space qualified solutions with commercial components. To improve the commercial competiveness of the Walloon space industry in this content, CSL studied the development of qualification and calibration of small multi- and hyper-spectral instruments. In the scope of this project, new breakthrough technology were proposed to increase the instruments spatial resolution. This project started in 2009 and will be finished in February 2014.
COARSE LATERAL SENSOR
The objective of this activity is to develop an engineering qualification model (EQM) of a coarse lateral sensor (CLS) for the PROBA-3 formation flight with two satellites to form a giant solar coronagraph. As a goal requirement CSL will base the CLS on the heritage of existing space hardware, where only delta developments are required. The complete CLS system (optics, mechanics and electronics) was developed and brought to a technology readiness level of 6 (i.e. System/subsystem model or prototype demonstration in a relevant environment (ground or space).
Flying Laptop (FLP) is the first mini-satellite of the IRS (Institute of Space Systems - Institut für Raumfahrtsysteme) at the University of Stuttgart, Germany (Prof. Röser). This is an academic project involving master and PhD students.The primary mission objective of Flying Laptop is to demonstrate and qualify various new small-satellite technologies for follow-up missions. From December 2012 and March 2013, the Flying Laptop EQM was extensively tested to CSL, including vibration and thermal-vacuum campaigns. The operational follow-up of theses campaign was performed by a joint team CSL-IRS, which appear to be an enthusiastic experience for the young graduate of the University of Stuttgart.
Gaia is an ambitious mission to chart a three-dimensional map of our Galaxy, the Milky Way, in the process revealing the composition, formation and evolution of the Galaxy. Gaia will provide unprecedented positional and radial velocity measurements with the accuracies needed to produce a stereoscopic and kinematic census of about one billion stars in our Galaxy and throughout the Local Group. This amounts to about 1 per cent of the Galactic stellar population. Contracted by ASTRIUM France, CSL performed the thermal vacuum test campaign for the Radial Velocity Spectrometer (RVS) in the first quarter and for the full payload module (PLM) from August to December 2012 (40 days under vacuum with continuous liquid nitrogen cooling) prior to its final integration in Toulouse. Gaia was successfully launched from Kourou by December 2013.
Large light-weight telescopes in space are considered as key elements enabling future Earth observation and space science. They will be needed for imaging as well as non-imaging (photon bucket) applications. The first large space telescope, “Hubble”, has an area density of about 180 kg/m2, the current generation space telescope, „James Webb Space Telescope‟ has an area density below 20 kg/m2. However, continued demand for new science and observation from space will drive the need for even larger telescope apertures. For achieving from GEO a ground spatial resolution of a few meters, telescope aperture diameters of the order of 20 m need to be achieved. This requires completely new concepts of deployable space telescopes with primary mirror area densities below 3 kg/m2.
Proba Vegetation is a platform embarking a multispectral instrument for Earth Observation. It shall fill the gap between the Spot 5 and the Pleiades missions, with the major challenge that it can be flown on a Belgian PROBA type satellite. CSL has been involved in the stray light analysis and the performance and environment test definition of PROBA V. CSL is the subcontractor of OIP. The straylight is performed by the CSL optical design workshop group. The study allows defining the baffle design. A dedicated straylight analysis on the SWIR channel identified the best chamber orientation to avoid a scattering towards the SWIR detector.