After more than a decade in Space, ESA’s Proba-1 (Project for On-Board Autonomy) is beginning to show its age.
Originally designed for a two-year technology demonstration mission, the small satellite was launched on October 22nd 2001 and is still providing images of our planet Earth.
Due to its extended lifetime, Proba-1’s orbit parameters have changed little by little, which over time had a significant impact on the quality of the images taken. As Proba-1 is not equipped with thrusters, its orbit could not be corrected. This required another kind of intervention.
SPACEBEL – in charge of the satellite’s on-board software – has been invited to define a software patch, i.e. a modification of the on-board algorithms to fix the effects of the orbit degradation.
An operation that proved to be successful thus allowing Proba-1 to be fully operating again and to increase the number of high-quality images destined for the scientific EO community.
The intervention also shows SPACEBEL’s ability to ensure the maintenance of our software technology at all times.
Long live Proba-1…!