Another main milestone of the SMOS project has been reached with SMOS satellite Critical Design Review held during this 2006 summertime.
The main review objectives were to assess the completion of the detailed design phase of the satellite and to evaluate the readiness of the project to proceed with the validation and qualification of the satellite.
For this purpose ESA, CNES and AAS provided a core of experts to constitute a Review panel which analyzed in detail the data package provided by the project in order to assess the fulfillment of the objectives.
The review consisted in a global presentation, in AAS premise, of the satellite and its interfaces made by CNES, ESA and AAS representatives including Payload and Launcher situation with the participation of EADS/CASA and Eurockot. Then a three days duration process in Cannes allowed to issue a preliminary set of findings and recommendations. Around fifty questions have been submitted, all of them processed by the Panel. Main categories addressed by the panel team were the system budgets and performances, the Integration/test of the SL and some Qualification / Product Assurance aspects.
Finally, the panel provided through a report three recommendations in terms of technical solutions consistent with the found discrepancies. To conclude these 3 hard working days a very appreciated team building operation was organized by AAS in "Lerins Island" small beautiful islands in the bay of Cannes with a dinner for all the participants of the review.
A Joint ESA/CNES Board held in September 2006 in CNES premises endorsed the recommendations, related to consolidating design and the payload/platform interface, presented in this report. Board confirmed as presented by panel report that the objectives of the satellite CDR have been covered and that the review was considered officially successful. Finally, Board endorsed authorisation to proceed in the next phase of the project.
SMOS SL teams are now preparing the coming SL activities: software validation on a dedicated bench tool and the integration and test of the SL which big first event will be the mating of the Platform and the coming soon Payload.