Practice makes perfect

Maintaining a stable operation as well as security are the most important features for most IT systems, and nowhere is this as important as it is in space. If a problem occurs, obviously there is no one to send. Consequently, all software and all physical parts of a satellite are thoroughly tested and retested before launch.

As a part of the delivery from satellite builder Northrop Grumman, a test environment is established on the ground where a simulator is a critical component. This satellite simulator is a digital copy of the ASBM satellites, and it is used for testing the ground stations before the actual satellites are launched into their highly elliptical orbit. The simulator is used to train the satellite engineers and operators for a range of different scenarios and all these practices are constantly evaluated.

The satellite simulator and the test environment have been through an acceptance test in Norway and is a part of the satellite operations center. The simulator enables efficient and secure testing and evaluation of every single procedure within each sub system on each satellite, such as propulsion, power, temperature management and handeling of payloads, data and TT&C (Telemetry, tracking and command).

The ASBM programme sent all its engineers and satellite operators to the British satellite operator Avanti for several months during 2022. Now, the staff spends more time in the simulator to be as prepared as possible when the satellites are sent into orbit over the poles. Once the programme enters the operational phase, the simulator will be used to test planned maneuvers before transmitting them to the satellites and for the operators to practice different scenarios.

Recent articles

All news articles