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Space Application


With a 35-year track record, Terma is among the most experienced providers of mission-critical products, software, and services for space missions. Terma excels in state-of-the-art niche technology and robust operational systems for the space industry. Working in close collaboration with customers and leading industry bodies, we develop advanced, mission-specific solutions. Operating in the aerospace, defense, and security sector, Terma supports customers and partners all over the world. With more than 1,100 committed employees worldwide, we develop and manufacture mission-critical products and solutions that meet our customers’ needs and requirements.

Star Trackers

Star Trackers provided by Terma secure focus on fully autonomous attitude determination with high accuracy. Different versions support missions ranging from satellites with short mission lifetimes to satellites having long lifetimes and stringent requirements for radiation tolerance.

Spacecraft Operational Simulators

The purpose of an Operational Simulator is to provide a realistic simulation of the spacecraft, the ground segment and the space environment.This is used by the satellite operator for a number of activities:

    • Testing and verification of the ground segment prior to launch of the spacecraft
    • Development of Flight Operations Procedures covering normal operations, contingency procedures and special operations (LEOP, eclipse etc)
    • Training of the Flight Control Team

It is necessary for the simulation to be very representative of the real environment and mirror rather accurately the functions of the spacecraft.
One important aspect of this is the need to run the real spacecraft flight software as part of the simulation environment using an emulator – and this is where use of Terma emulators can bring significant benefits such as running at many times real time performance.

Software Validation Facilities

Today more than ever, it is of crucial importance to thoroughly test embedded software and to verify that it will perform as expected prior to launching the spacecraft. The importance of rigorous validation increases as more and more functions are implemented in the control software of the satellites.

Therefore, a final test by an independent organization is indispensable in ensuring the correct performance of the software and to ascertain that the software will not jeopardize the mission or cause unacceptable spacecraft behavior. This has to cover both static analysis of the software and dynamic test of time-critical situations.

Spacecraft Control System

Terma is a leading supplier of ground system software solutions to support satellite missions. Terma has worked with all system components and associated processes for managing, monitoring, and controlling satellites.Terma took a leading role in developing SCOS-2000 (Spacecraft Control and Operations System), the control system used by the European Space Agency. Subsequently, Terma has developed mission control systems based on SCOS-2000 both for ESA/ESOC and commercial customers.Terma were responsible for all releases of the product up to and including Release 3.1, and more recently also the Release 5.4. Coupled with this, Terma led the porting of the system from Solaris to a dual source Solaris/Linux code base. The first dual source release was 2.3.

Specific Mission Control Systems implemented by Terma include:

      • BepiColombo
      • Herschel/Planck
      • MSG-1, 2 and 3 LEOP
      • Radarsat-2
      • Agile
      • SMART-1
      • Integral

Spacecraft Test Systems

The Terma family of systems are designed to be compatible with each other and many other systems such as the control centre infrastructure used by a satellite operator. For example, our single user system can be used for testing instruments/payloads. Then the TM/TC data can then be transferred to the satellite operator. This means that a lot of effort in re-definition and validation of this data can be avoided bringing advantages in cost, schedule and risk to a programme. This concept has been proven on a number of major ESA missions – the first was Herschel and Planck and continues today with newer missions such as BepiColombo, SmallGEO and Galileo.
Standards are an important aspect of the system design – these include international standards, space industry standards, and de-facto standards. Use of de-facto standards also ensures that the systems can have a long lifetime without the risk of high maintenance costs – today many customers require lifetimes of 10 years or more.For space standards, the systems support the ESA/CCSDS Telemetry and Telecommand Packet Standards and the ESA Packet Utilization Standard.Terma is also able to fully support the product in the field and has developed high quality user training material and user documentation.