Minimize Mission Performance

A remote sensing mission involves several aspects such as the flight-segment operations, the instrument calibration and aging monitoring, the ground station and the processing facility operations and maintenance, the mission management (to ensure the continuity and to improve the mission performance) and last but not least the scientific community requirements. In order to give a high contribution to these different aspects it is essential to develop a mission quality control strategy.

The methodology adopted for several ESA Missions has been to monitor the whole system performances by analyzing the quality of the data produced by the processors. Based on the mission strategy and the data source, the control of the following elements were considered essential in the process of quality assessment:

  • Platform/Instrument operations
  • Ground Station acquisition performance
  • Raw data availability
  • Ground Station processing performance
  • Instrument aging monitoring
  • Instrument calibration monitoring
  • Quality of the delivered data sets
  • Compliance of the delivered products with specifications
  • Systems upgrades and configuration controls
  • Users concerns
  • Reporting

User concerns require a series of efforts. In particular it is important to know the users requirements, to explain what is possible in the mission scenario and to interact with industry if new solutions shall be integrated to improve the data quality.

The reporting is essential to share the information acquired throughout the quality control procedures. The reporting is a very general concept and covers a wide range of applications. It has a daily or cyclic frequency to report the instruments and products performances or it could have the special issue to report about anomalies, mission events, system upgrades or users complaints.