The IOD-1 GEMS spacecraft has begun operations after a successful deployment from the ISS on Wednesday morning. Bright Ascension’s GenerationOne onboard software executed a successful separation procedure, commanding deployment of antennae and solar panels while monitoring critical platform telemetry.

Wednesday’s deployment is the result of a fruitful collaboration between Bright Ascension, Clyde Space, the Satellite Applications Catapult (SAC) and Orbital Microsystems (OMS). IOD-1 GEMS was launched 2 months ago aboard a routine ISS resupply mission, and since then has been stowed awaiting deployment. The spacecraft is to demonstrate OMS’s new weather observation technology.

SAC are using Bright Ascension’s Mission Control Software (MCS) to operate the mission. The MCS is integrated closely with the GenerationOne FSDK, providing powerful and intuitive features for management of a spacecraft through its life on orbit. Among the features SAC will be making use of when operating IOD-1 GEMS are:

  • Flexible access to key spacecraft parameters, telemetry and logs. During platform checkout, the MCS allows operators to respond to changes or anomalies quickly, by providing customised UI layouts and integrated decoding and viewing of downlinked logs. Data is archived and can be inspected, graphed and exported later to support off-line analysis and planning.
  • Powerful features to allow lights-out operations. By providing automation of both flight-side and ground-side behaviour, the MCS allows routine operations to become genuinely routine. For the IOD-1 GEMS mission SAC will initially reduce operations burden by automating schedule and data management, before moving towards full lights-out automation as the mission progresses.
  • Critical spacecraft documentation at the operators’ fingertips. The MCS integrates documentation generated during development of the onboard software in the operator’s interface. This allows key documentation to be accessed efficiently, both during planning and when operating passes.

Bright Ascension are now excited to be supporting the checkout and commissioning of the IOD-1 GEMS spacecraft, and we look forward to beginning routine operations soon.

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