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Proceedings Paper

Critical laser technology developments and ESA space qualification approach in support of ESA's Earth observation missions
Author(s): Mustapha Zahir; Yannig Durand
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Paper Abstract

In this paper, ESA's approach to lasers and detectors space evaluation and qualification will be explored. ESA has its own international qualification system, the ESCC system. This system guarantees reliability, assurance and quality of components, and hence a successful space mission. An overview of the ESCC (European Space Component Coordination) system, as well as the relevant ECSS (European Cooperation for Space Standards) related standards addressing components and hybrid qualification will be given. These standards are being constantly updated, through well structured working groups, constantly coming up with new ways of qualifying space components. These components are themselves constantly changing in terms of material, technology, and manufacturing processes. The development of advanced Lidar systems for space applications and their evaluation by airborne or ground based test campaigns is an important strategic element of the ESA Earth Observation Programme. These systems depend on robust and reliable lasers and detector at their core function. Since the early eighties, ESA has been supporting the development of the critical subsystems of any Lidar, i.e. lasers and detectors. Several missions, involving different kinds of lidars, provide the requirements to be addressed in the Lidar risk mitigation activities. They also present a challenge concerning their space qualification and reliability assurance. These missions are: ADM-Aeolus flying ALADIN a Doppler Wind Lidar; EarthCARE embarking ATLID an Atmospheric Backscatter Lidar; three missions studied for their feasibilities: WALES, A-SCOPE and ACCURATE, all using Differential Absorption Lidar in different ways to measure respectively profiles of water vapour, total column of CO2 and greenhouse gases in an occultation geometry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 September 2011
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8159, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring XII, 815904 (14 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893587
Show Author Affiliations
Mustapha Zahir, European Space Agency (Netherlands)
Yannig Durand, European Space Agency (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8159:
Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring XII
Upendra N. Singh, Editor(s)

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