MICROSCOPE a micro-satellite for a major corner stone in fundamental physics, from qualification to launchReport as inadecuate

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1 Chatillon - ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab 2 Palaiseau - ONERA - The French Aerospace Lab 3 GEOAZUR - Géoazur

Abstract : The MICROSCOPE space mission aims at testing the Equivalence Principle with an accuracy of 10e-15. To be launched on April 2016, the CNES microsatellite embarks the instrument that should test for the first time in space the foundation of General Relativity. The expected results whether they confirm or not the Equivalence Principle will bring a major constraint on Physics Models trying to unify Gravity and Quantum Physics.The payload developed by ONERA is composed of two double accelerometers giving full 6-axis measurements to be processed with on-board GPS and star-trackers collected data. The on-ground process of the data takes into account the fine time stamping of the measurement pick up and the position of the satellite along its orbit to correct the Earth’s gravity gradient effect in the difference of the acceleration of two bodies in free-fall. The data once corrected is exploited to extract a potential signal of violation which is along to the Earth’s gravity field.During 2015, the payload flight model has been intensively tested during the qualification campaign of the satellite: environmental tests, EMC tests, electrical tests…. Major results will be presented. They were computed with the Science Mission Center softwares also under development in ONERA. These data complement the simulated data provided by CNES in order to validate the mission ground segment.After a general presentation of the instrument and its performance, the paper will emphasize some return on the particular experience of implementing a high accurate instrument in a small satellite such as MICROSCOPE.As the launch is very close to the presentation, the flight acceptance should be ongoing. A priori no flight data should be available. Nevertheless, the mission flight scenario will be presented as well as the way it will be generated and updated each week by the Mission Center.


Author: Manuel Rodrigues - Pierre Touboul - Ratana Chhun - Françoise Liorzou - Gilles Metris -

Source: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/


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