Telespazio Germany will Develop The Simulator for The PLATO Mission

21 März 2024

With 26 telescopes covering a field of view 10,000 times bigger than the full Moon, the project will scan the brightest stars in the sky for planets passing in front of them.

ESA’s mission PLATO will study terrestrial exoplanets in orbits up to the habitable zone of Sun-like stars. PLATO sensitivity and operation mode will allow the detection of earth analogues, which will not be covered by any other project in this decade.

The mission aims to understand the characterisation of hundreds of rocky (including Earth twins), icy or giant planets, including the architecture of their planetary system, to fundamentally enhance our understanding of the formation and evolution of planetary systems.

 

Telespazio Germany will develop the operational simulator utilized for training the spacecraft operators and the flight control team (FCT) for the PLATO mission. This simulator serves various purposes, including the creation and validation of flight procedures, as well as the execution of simulation exercises during launch preparations at ESOC.

These simulations aim to train the FCT and other support teams for critical mission phases such as launch, early orbit, and contingency operations. All communication between the FCT and the operational simulator occurs via telemetry/telecommands and utilizes the same Mission Control System employed for the actual spacecraft, ensuring highly realistic simulation campaigns.

Contributing to the success of the PLATO mission is a huge opportunity for us! Imagine being part of a mission that will search for Earth-like planets orbiting sun-like stars – places that could hold liquid water, potentially revealing a "second Earth"!

Eduard Baumstark, PLATO Simulator Technical Manager & Lead Software Engineer at Telespazio Germany

Winning the operational simulator for the PLATO mission consolidates Telespazio Germany's position as a leader in the development of operational simulators. Our team is ready to take on the challenges of the demanding mission schedule as well as its technical challenges but will need to keep on growing to face the growing demand for operational simulators.

Johan Marx, Head of Spacecraft Simulations at Telespazio Germany

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With 26 telescopes covering a field of view 10,000 times bigger than the full Moon, the project will scan the brightest stars in the sky for planets passing in front of them.

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