CNES organized with the CESBIO, on April 3rd and 4th, 2008, a SMOS workshop whom objective was to give to the various actors of the project a comprehensive view of the mission on which they are implied. By 60 representatives of various space agencies (ESA/ESTEC, ESA/ESRIN, CNES), industry (Thalès Alenia Space, EADS/CASA) and laboratories (CESBIO, CSIC, UPC) took part in the Workshop.
The 2 days of presentation provided to the participants a complete vision of the mission:
- scientific objectives addressed by the 2 science themes of mission SMOS mission: oceans salinity and soil moisture,
- specificities of the co-operation between the ESA and the CNES to give rise to project SMOS
All the components of the System were then presented:
- the payload based on interferometric radiometer in band L,
- the platform derived from PROTEUS line of product
- the engineering activities and integration/test of the Satellite
- the Rockot launcher which will be used from Spatial base of Plessetck in Russia with the planned sequence of events of the launch campaign
The concept of the validation system is now totally clear for the all participants after the presentation detailed of these activities.
Second day was more devoted to the grounds segment aspects with the presentations of the levels 1 and 2 mission center as well as the 2 national initiatives the CATDS (French) and the CP34 (Spanish) missions centers in charge of the production and the distribution to the scientific community of the levels 3 and 4 products
The operations in orbits with the first operations during the LEOP, the commissioning, the activities linked to scientific validation and then operations and the organization of the various teams during the routine phase were also detailed.
The presentations were concluded by a presentation from ESA about activities in progress in CASA to prepare the continuation of mission SMOS. It would be an operational mission with improvements in term of sensitivity and resolution. Mission is based on 3 SL successive, compatible of a "improved" Proteus platform, in order to ensure a continuity of data over 15 years. The activities focused on new receivers in L band and of accommodation of complementary instruments. ESA also wishes to engage of the discussions with [no-lexicon]Eumetsat [/no-lexicon]on the program aspect with calendar objective to launch the first Satellite in 2013 to have a covering period with SMOS.
In summary through these presentations, this workshop allowed to improve the communication between the multiple teams, with different cultures, involved in the project. This communication will help us to prepare and to carry out the coming activities over 2008 and 2009 such as Dress Rehearsal, the launch campaign or the launch whose date was also officially confirmed by ESA during this workshop. Launch will take place around April to July 2009.
As this workshop was held in Pézenas, it allow to all the participants to take part in the assembly of vintage SMOS. It was during a very convivial occasion that was held this assembly from wines of the "domaine d'Aubépierre". This assembly gave birth to a great vintage with a great potential of evolution and which will arrive at fullness for the launch in 2009.