Support to Envisat

During the mission's development and throughout its operational lifetime, the Envisat mission was supported through the expertise of partners in the industry. Organisations provided algorithms for exploiting the data and performed engineering work on the satellite and instruments.

Algorithm Specifications

The Expert Support Laboratories (ESLs), with industrial support, were responsible for producing the detailed algorithm specifications for Envisat Level 1b and Level 2 products, as well as for providing continuous support throughout the mission exploitation phase.

  • Phase I: Product definition, algorithm development, and prototyping phase
  • Phase II: Support to the operational implementation and pre-launch verification phase
  • Phase III: Product validation phase, including in-orbit commissioning
  • Phase IV: Product quality control and product enhancement during the mission exploitation phase

The results of the ESL work was contained in a set of algorithm specifications:

  • Input/Output Data Definition defining the detailed content and format of all products, including auxiliary products
  • Detailed Processing Model and Parameter Data List specifying in detail the mathematical algorithms to produce the Envisat Level 1b and Level 2 products
  • Computer Resource Requirements

The development of the PDS operational processor was based on these applicable requirement specifications.

Prototypes

The detailed algorithm specification was accompanied by the development of software prototypes in order to ensure the correctness of the algorithm specification, including detailed check of the interfaces.  These also evaluated the sensitivity and robustness of the proposed algorithm chain, supported the evaluation and the selection among different algorithm alternatives when needed, and finally, generated test data sets for the acceptance of the operational processors.

An important role in this process was played by the instrument system simulators. For more information regarding these, please refer to each individual instruments' data products section.

ESL support

Envisat Level 1b ESL/industrial support

The following organisations supported the Level 1b products:

Instrument ESL/Industry Deliverable
ASAR NORUT (N) Wave Mode Cross Spectra Algorithm Spec/Prototype
GOMOS ACRI (F) Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype; system simulator
RA-2/MWR Alenia Spazio (I) Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
MSSL (UK) System simulator
MIPAS Bomen (CDN) Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype; system simulator
MERIS ACRI (F), SCICON (D) Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
ACRI (F)

System simulator

AATSR RAL (UK) Product and Algorithm Spec
DoE (UK) Prototype
SCIAMACHY DLR-DFD (D) Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype


Envisat Level 2 ESL/industrial support

The following organisations supported the Level 2 products:

Instrument ESL/Industry Responsibility Deliverable
RA-2/MWR CLS (F) Ocean and Ice retracking Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
MSSL (UK) Ice and sea-ice retracking Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
MIPAS IROE (I), Univ. of Bologna (I), IMK/KfK (D), Lab. Physique Moleculaire (F) Global Fit inversion algorithm definition and scientific prototyping, physical/mathematical optimisations Algorithm Definition and Scientific Prototype
Oxford University (UK) Reference Forward Model and validation of inversion algorithm MIPAS Forward Model
IAA Granada (E) Study of non-LTE effects Database
Dornier (D) Detailed documentation and prototyping Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
DLR (D) Review of NRT algorithm and off-line enhancements Documentation
MERIS Freie Universitat Berlin (D) Cloud top height and water vapour Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Universite du Littoral (F) Atmospheric corrections over land Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Laboratoire Physique et Chimie Marine (F) Ocean colour algorithm Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
GKSS Forschungscentrum Geesthacht (D) Coastal water Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Plymouth Marine Lab (UK) Coastal Water Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document
Institute of Ocean Science (CDN) Coastal water consultancy support  
ACRI (F) Specification and prototyping Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
GOMOS Finnish Meterological Institute (SF) Level 1b and 2 processing definition Algorithm Specification
Service d'Aeronomie (F) Level 1b and 2 processing definition Algorithm Specification
IASB (B) Level 1b and 2 processing definition Algorithm Specification
ACRI (F) Specification and prototyping Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype
AATSR RAL (UK)   Product and Algorithm Spec
DoE (UK)   Prototype
SCIAMACHY DLR-DFD (D)   Product and Algorithm Spec/Prototype


Envisat system engineering support

The following organisations provided engineering support at the system level:

Instrument ESL Responsibility Deliverable
ASAR Politecnico di Milano (I) Envisat Scansar modes study and simulation Wide Swath and Global Monitoring Mode products and prototype software
DLR (D) ASAR System Engineering Study, SIR-C Scansar Processing Study Study reports, prototype software
Remote Sensing Laboratories ZURICH (CH) Alternating Polarisation Mode Products study and simulation from SIR-C C-band data Alternating Polarisation Mode simulated products and prototype software
NORUT (NO) Study and definition of cross spectra algorithm for wave mode Strudy reports, prototype software

Industrial organisation

Payload data segment development

Alcatel Space Industries (former Thomson-CSF Services & Systemes Sol Spatiaux) was prime contractor responsible for overall programme management, central procurement of hardware and software, system engineering, and system validation and acceptance.

Individual facility development contracts were awarded to European and Canadian subcontractors having the expertise and experience due to their involvement in other Earth observation programmes.

 

Polar platform and satellite

The European Polar Platform was developed by a consortium of European industrial companies led by the prime contractor Marconi Space in Bristol, United Kingdom, who was also responsible for the final satellite integration and preparation for launch. Dornier, Germany, had major development responsibility for Payload Equipment Bay which was part of the Payload Module, and Matra Marconi Space in Toulouse (F) was leading the Service Module development. In all, about 50 companies participated in this major undertaking.

 

Envisat payload

The industrial team was led by Dornier Satellitensysteme GmbH, responsible for the ESA development instruments and certain mission/system aspects.

The Envisat team included leading European and Canadian companies which had gained significant experience from their involvement in the main European Earth observation programmes. Many were particularly involved in the ERS-1/2 programme and as such provided continuity and transfer of experience from that very successful programme.