IABG has successfully completed the environmental qualification tests on the two satellites of the GRACE-FO mission (Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment-Follow-On).
Before they set out to space, IABG today takes the occasion of this test campaign conclusion to present the satellites in a joint media event together with Airbus. In the context of exciting presentations, experts from IABG, Airbus, the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) and from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will provide information on the mission and the tests that were carried out. Guests will afterwards have the opportunity to view the satellites in IABG’s Space Centre.
In its Space Centre, IABG have qualified the two identical satellites for their mission in space in the course of an extensive test programme that included determination of electro-magnetic compatibility (EMC), space simulation as well as comprehensive mechanical tests. The campaign was implemented by IABG on behalf of Airbus within a one-year period.
The satellites’ path continues to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, from where they will be launched into their 490-km orbit in the spring of next year.
GRACE-FO is a follow-up project of the first GRACE mission in 2002. Even then, IABG qualified the satellites of this mission.
In the context of the GRACE-FO mission, temporal changes of the earth's gravity field are to be determined. Among other things, this data can be used to measure important climate change indicators, such as the melting of polar ice masses. The project is carried out under management of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of the US Space Agency NASA. Significant scientific contributions to the mission are provided by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) in Potsdam. The ground control of the satellites is taken over by the GSOC in Oberpfaffenhofen.