Magnetic Measurements Expert Group meeting of the SWARM mission

Swarm is a European Space Agency mission specifically designed to pick up the magnetic signals sent out by the earth’s core, mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere. This information will give scientists crucial insights into the complex mechanisms regulating the earth’s protective magnetic field.

Successfully launched in 2013, the SWARM constellation still has some pending questions in relation to data processing and instrument performance; these questions are of the utmost importance from the scientific point of view.

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GMV has played an important role in the Swarm mission from the word go. It participated in mission definition studies and developed a system-performance simulator, also taking part in design tasks and developing, manufacturing, integrating, testing and installing the mission’s onboard GPS receptor. Additionally, it developed the operational instrumental data processors for the three satellites and produced level 1b, level 2 and quasi real time products.

Under an ESOC contract GMV has also been responsible for developing the control center for receiving and processing satellite telemetry and their instruments and generating the necessary commands for correct mission operation. It has also developed the orbit control system for determining satellite position and attitude and generating any necessary orbital correction maneuvers for proper mission operation.

Working from its Poland offices, GMV is responsible for implementation of SWARM’s L1 and L2 processors and is also participating in SWARM data quality control.

During a two-day, mid-March meeting held in GMV’s Warsaw offices, some of the constellation’s pending questions were discussed, such as the recent data processing improvements. The meeting was attended by scientists, ESA mission managers and the mission’s industrial partners, which are participating in instrument operation and production.