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2.11 Characterisation And Calibration

Any instrument, after it has been built, is submitted to test in the industry laboratory in order to characterise it and calibrate it. This set of tests is normally called "Characterisation and Parameter Optimisation", and they are devoted to:


  • verify that the operating characteristics of the instrument (e.g. Tx peak power, Rx gain, etc.) are within the specified limits


  • measure the real values of some of the instrument characteristics, that are later used in the ground processing (e.g. Level 1b) through the Characterisation file


  • ameliorate the tuning of the instrument parameters by finely varying, when necessary, parameters of the dispatch area or look-up tables


Later, in-flight, the majority of these tests when possible shall be repeated, to ensure that this characterisation is maintained after the launch. In particular for the third point described above, the test shall be repeated in-flight using real data to improve the results found on-ground with test or simulated data. For this in-flight optimisation see Section 3.2.2 (RA-2 In flight Performance verification).


Instrument characterisation and calibration are described in RA-2 and MWR Instruments(Chapter 3. ) for both RA-2 and MWR.

Keywords: ESA European Space Agency - Agence spatiale europeenne, observation de la terre, earth observation, satellite remote sensing, teledetection, geophysique, altimetrie, radar, chimique atmospherique, geophysics, altimetry, radar, atmospheric chemistry