The FireBIRD mission is comprised of four segments, a space segment, a launch segment, a ground segment and a user segment. The mission policy is intended to facilitate cooperation with external partners in as many of these segments as possible.
The space segment consists of the two satellites, TET-1 and BIROS. Both carry an identical primary payload, which is a combination of IR and VIS cameras for remotely sensing both anomalous high-temperature events and normal temperature phenomena. In addition, TET-1 is equipped with the now inactive payloads of the OOV Mission and the Biros satellite carries additional instruments for other research projects. The space segment team is also tasked with the technical supervision of the orbiting satellites and supporting the ground segment in the operation of the satellites. The aim is to ensure the satellites’ planned service life, and extend it, as possible. The space segment is administered by the DLR Institute of Optical Sensor Systems.
With the help of a suitable launch provider, the launch segment of the mission is tasked with bringing the launch vehicle into the appropriate orbit at the right time, within the allocated budget. The work also includes organizing and conducting the launch campaign at the launch site. The Institute of Optical Sensor Systems supervises this segment as well.
The ground segment handles "Mission Operations & Control" and the "Acquisition, Archiving and Standard Processing of Science Data", coordinated by GSOC (in Oberpfaffenhofen) and EOC (at DFD’s National Ground Segment in Neustrelitz). In the context of the Firebird mission this segment has two components, one for data and one for mission operations. Ground segment facilities are located at DFD in Neustrelitz, at the GSOC station in Weilheim, and at the GSOC control center in Oberpfaffenhofen.
The user segment for this mission consists of a science segment directed by a Principal Investigator (PI), and a science team including a science coordinator. Within the constraints of the established data policy it provides interfaces to the science community and other users. The active members of the science team are involved in the technical discussions, for example target selection. All science data are available to internal users. External users must provide a "Science Proposal" to access selected data within the limits of the mission’s data policy.