Satellite and Mission Simulators

System-level activities at space and ground segments need to be supported by different types of simulators, characterizing the behavior of the spacecraft and its environment.

The involvement of GMV in activities at system level like mission analysis, together with its recognized expertise in SW development, makes our company a perfect candidate to develop satellite and mission simulators, which can be classified under the following categories:

  • Mission Performance Simulators: they aim at providing the performances of the mission in terms of coverage, downlink capabilities, payload duty cycle, memory evolution, power system dimensioning, delta-V budget or data latency. These simulators are typically used during the initial phases of design and development of the mission, supporting mission analysis activities. As an example of this category, the Sentinel-2 Mission Performance Simulator has been developed and maintained by GMV.
  • E2E Instrument Performance Simulators: The main purpose of these simulators is to check the performances of the mission products, compared to the system and mission requirements. They characterize all the effects that influence the acquisition of data by the payload of the mission and its processing on ground, typically up to level-1b or level-2. In order to accomplish that goal, several elements shall be simulated, like the scene being observed, the atmospheric effect, the AOCS behavior, the instrument design and the processing on ground. They typically evolve, from the initial mission phases in which all elements are typically put together in the simulator, to later phases (C/D) in which they are divided in the instrument/spacecraft performance simulator and the Ground Processor Prototype (GPP). GMV has participated in the E2E Instrument Performance Simulators of missions like SEOSAT/Ingenio, FLEX, CarbonSat or PREMIER.
  • Operational Satellite Simulators: These simulators are used for spacecraft mission control system testing, for validation of the ground segment and of the operational procedures, and to train the operations staff. After ground segment validation testing and operation definition this simulator is especially important for OBSW patches testing. They have to simulate the behavior of all spacecraft systems (thermal, data handling, AOCS, power, communications and payload) in real-time. GMV has developed the operational satellite simulators for missions like Sentinel-1, Sentinel-5P or SEOSAT/Ingenio.

Our offer in simulation includes:

  • sisdor: simulation and characterization of the propagation effects (signal attenuation, multipath, Doppler Shift, etc.) in the satellite to indoor mobile channels at L and S bands.
  • βiβlos: library of generic models for the implementation of E2E Instrument Performance Simulators of Earth Observation missions, developed for ESA.

 “Simulated straylight effect in CarbonSat spectrometer”


 Analysis of overlap between detector lines in SEOSAT/Ingenio instrument