The team’s two fields of responsibility are systems engineering and production.
In the field of production we perform numerous tasks related to diverse satellite missions, with each one posing its own challenges. These include missions that have been successfully carried out for many years like TerraSAR-X, TanDEM-X and ACSAF (formerly OzoneSAF). We are also involved in missions whose development phase is coming to an end and are about to shift to the nominal operations phase, such as the ESA mission ‘Sentinel 5 Precursor’.
In the case of all these satellite missions our main responsibility is to transfer the data acquired at ground stations (O´Higgins, Inuvik, etc.) to Oberpfaffenhofen and incorporate them in various long and complex mission-specific processing chains. These tasks include monitoring the relevant systems and removing flaws, frequently in close cooperation with the developers.
New problems also continue to arise in missions that have long run in a stable manner. Their cause is often related to the development of improved versions of the required processors (software units). A particular challenge is to work within the time constraints especially associated with NRT (near-real-time) data products.
Our monitoring task ends after successful processing, when the products are provided to users or deposited in the archive.
In the area of systems engineering our responsibilities include establishing routines as well as associated tasks like defining requirements before a mission becomes operational. Another aspect is continuous improvement of ongoing missions, which is realized in close cooperation with other teams and departments.
Another noteworthy team responsibility is related to the operation of the Geofarm. This is a processing cloud within DFD that provides a processing environment for the complex workflows required by our scientists.