Firebird Ground Segment Operations are handled by the Space Operations and Astronaut Training division. As part of DLR, this entity has been responsible since the 1960s for commissioning communication satellites and operating science, technology-demonstrating, and security-relevant space missions. This includes satellites in low earth and geostationary orbits, as well as the European part of the ISS, the Columbus module.
The Ground Segment Operations team is responsible for operating the TET and BIROS satellites under four headings, “Flight Operations”, “Flight Dynamics”, “Mission Planning” and “Ground Stations and Networks”. There are two operational phases. During operational phase 1, TET is functioning routinely in space and preparations are made to launch and operate BIROS. Operational phase 2 starts with the launch of BIROS. After the successful launch and early orbit phase as well as the commissioning, TET and BIROS will be operated in a constellation. This requires integrating a functional BIROS ground segment into the existing operational TET ground segment.
In addition to ground segment operations there is a component charged with acquiring, processing, archiving and making available payload data.
The figure gives an overview of the various elements and interfaces comprising ground segment operations.