Integration of the ground segment at Astrium Services in Toulouse began in October 2008.
The main civil receiving station for the Pléiades system houses a receiving antenna and extensive computing equipment.
This station, which supports data reception, satellite tasking and imaging, will undergo technical qualification tests in February 2010.
Acceptance testing of the second civil receiving station in Kiruna, Sweden, will be signed off in March.
Integration by an industry consortium
The Pléiades ground segments are being integrated by an industry consortium led by the French space agency CNES comprising CS, Cap-Gemini, EADS-Astrium and Thales-Services.
This consortium is responsible for integrating industrial systems at four receiving stations:
- two military control centres in France and Spain,
- and two civil receiving stations in Toulouse and Kiruna.
Operational qualification will get underway in March, once technical qualification is complete.
This phase has two aims:
- first, to ensure consistency of the dual-use system at the four receiving stations;
- second, to test the interface between station systems and a new information system at Astrium Services that will handle commercial orders and manage production.
Alongside the operational qualification phase, Astrium Services is launching a vast training plan.
This will begin with training on Pléiades systems for technical managers, followed by satellite tasking, production and customer service teams.