Successful operation of an earth observation mission requires precise implementation of the science specifications and optimal instrument support. Only then can high quality measurement data be generated. Close collaboration between scientists and operations staff plays an important role.
The Atmospheric Processors department of IMF used this very approach for SCIAMACHY. The special status of SCIAMACHY as an atmosphere instrument provided by Germany for the ENVISAT mission led already early in the development phase to a sharing of duties between DLR, the Netherlands Space Office and ESA. As part of this agreement, DLR assumed responsibility for establishing the operations support capability at IMF and IUP/IFE (the institute at Bremen University where the principal investigator is based). During SCIAMACHY’s almost ten years of operation and in close cooperation with these partners, IMF was able to perform all the work necessary for the successful operation of SCIAMACHY. IMF was responsible for the systems-related activities, which included:
Now in Post-Mission Phase F, with ENVISAT’s mission operations at an end, all instrument-related operating information is being processed for long-term archiving.
DLR’s successful supervision of SCIAMACHY is seen as a model for similar involvement in other atmosphere missions. Operational tasks for the German-French MERLIN mission are again expected to be assigned to EOC.