Thales Alenia Space announces shipment from its UK facility of the first instrument for the European Space Agency’s EarthCARE satellite mission
(15 March 2018 - Thales Alenia Space) Thales Alenia Space shipped today the broadband radiometer (BBR), a scientific instrument for the European Space Agency’s Earth Cloud Aerosol and Radiation Explorer (EarthCARE) satellite mission. Designed and built by Thales Alenia Space in the United Kingdom, it was shipped to satellite prime contractor Airbus integration center in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
(courtesy: Thales Alenia Space)
The EarthCARE mission, developed in co-operation with JAXA in Japan, will improve our understanding of the relationship between clouds, aerosols and radiation and their combined effects on the Earth’s climate system. This high-priority mission will enhance our understanding of the science behind climatology and weather prediction.
The broadband radiometer will measure both reflected solar flux and Earth thermal flux, taking measurements across the spectrum from ultraviolet to the far infrared. It comprises three telescopes, sophisticated calibration systems and specifically developed detectors to cover the entire spectrum. A significant design and engineering challenge, the BBR will set a new standard in satellite radiometry.
Thales Alenia Space’s engineers in the UK led the design, construction and testing of the BBR. Other British companies and universities made significant contributions to this instrument, including STFC RAL Space (telescope assembly), ESR (mechanism assembly) and SciSys (onboard software). The BBR is the first core optical Earth Observation instrument produced by a British team for an ESA mission for more than 20 years.
“By designing, building and testing the sophisticated BBR instrument, Thales Alenia Space is proud to serve the largest and most complex Earth Explorer mission to date,” said Ben Olivier, CEO of Thales Alenia Space in the UK. “It represents ten years of collaborative and constructive work between teams from industry and academia, who have had to overcome tremendous technical challenges. Thanks to their efforts it is the first instrument to be delivered for integration in to the EarthCARE satellite. We would like to thank Airbus Defense & Space for entrusting Thales Alenia Space in the UK and its highly skilled engineers with this landmark mission.”
About Thales Alenia Space
Combining 40 years of experience and a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, Thales Alenia Space architects design and deliver high technology solutions for telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation, environmental management, exploration, science and orbital infrastructures. Governments, institutions and companies rely on Thales Alenia Space to design, operate and deliver satellite-based systems that help them position and connect anyone or anything, everywhere, help observe our planet, help optimize the use of our planet's – and our solar system’s – resources. Thales Alenia Space believes in space as humankind’s new horizon, which will enable to build a better, more sustainable life on Earth. A joint venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%), Thales Alenia Space also teams up with Telespazio to form the parent companies’ Space Alliance, which offers a complete range of services and solutions. Thales Alenia Space posted consolidated revenues of 2.6 billion euros in 2017 and has 7,980 employees in nine countries.
About Thales Alenia Space in the UK
Thales Alenia Space in the UK was established in 2014 with offices in Bristol, Harwell and Belfast and is a leader in propulsion systems, Earth Observation and Science mission subsystems, and next generation payloads for telecoms, military satellites and UK satellite constellations. Thales Alenia Space in the UK is also responsible for the Broadband Radiometer – a space borne instrument, as part of the European Space Agency ‘Earthcare’ programme, which will help scientists understand and monitor global warming.