While Russia will take full responsability of the launch of WSO-UV, the ground control of the space mission will be shared by Russia and Spain at a 50%-50% term.

The WSO-UV will be launched by a Proton rocket from Baikonur during 2021, and put into a geosynchronous orbit. At least two ground stations will receive the information from the space observatory, located in Russia and Spain. For more information about the orbit and launcher please click here.

The information received by the ground stations will be sent via a fast and secure data link to the two twin control sites of the Mission Operation Centre (MOC), also hosted by Russia and Spain. The Russian center will be located in Moscow, and the Spanish center will be in the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Ground segment

Spain is the main responsible for the development of the Science Operation Software for the Ground Segment. The agreement was signed in March 2007 between ROSCOSMOS and the Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico e Industrial (CDTI). The industrial contribution is funded by the Secretary of State of Industry and PYME.

The Science Contractor is the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), funded by the Secretary of State of Research, Development and Innovation. The Spanish Principal Investigator is Prof. Ana I. Gómez de Castro (UCM).

The Ground Segment, including the mission control segment and ground-based science segment, is a very important component of the WSO-UV project. The mission operation center (MOC) with co-located control centers and ground stations are parts of the Ground Control Segment to be set up by Spain and Russia. The core of the ground-based science segment is the Science Operation Center (SOC), which can be linked to various research centers (institutes, universities, etc.). The users, i.e., the researchers who have their applications included in the observing program, and those interested in obtaining research data stored in archives will be able to access the SOC via communication links (e.g., via Internet).

The WSO-UV Ground Segment includes all the infrastructure and facilities involved in the preparation and execution of the WSO-UV mission operations, which typically encompass real-time monitoring and controling of the spacecraft, as well as reception, processing and storage of the scientific data. The Ground Segment is developed by Russia and Spain that will coordinate the Mission and Scientific operations and provide the satellite tracking stations for the project.

The main facilities of the WSO-UV Ground Segment are:

  • The Ground Station Control Centre and Ground Communications Subnet, which provide downlink-uplink communication between the spacecraft and the rest of the Ground Segment.
  • The Mission Operations Centre, mainly in charge of providing the real-time spacecraft monitoring and control function. It also includes the flight dynamics function (orbit determination and attitude reconstitution).
  • The Science Operations Centre (SOC), responsible for adequate scheduling and supervision of the WSO scientific operations. The SOC also comprises the Analysis System, responsible for calibrating the observations as well as verifying and processing the scientific data.
  • The Scientific Data Processing Centre, which provides end-users with both mission products and associated data required for their utilization. It is responsible for the automatic pipeline processing of the received scientific data.
  • Science Archive, responsible for the storage, maintenance and distribution to the internal user community of all the mission science data and associated products.

The re-use of existing systems and a modular design are two key drivers in the development of the WSO-UV Ground Segment, as well as the potential for distributed processing of the scientific data through a network of national Scientific Data Processing Centers. The Spanish contractor for the Ground Segment is GMV and the Russian contractor is Lavochkin.

Science archive

The WSO-UV Science Archive (WSA) is not a simple safe place where to store the data, but it will provide and easy and efficient access to the contents, as well as basic processing capabilities aiming to provide the user with the required services to allow him/her maximizing the amount of retrieved high quality data without requiring major expertise in data processing and managing techniques. For this purpose, WSO-UV science Archive will be VO compliant.

WSA is responsible for providing secure and persistent storage for data belonging to the WSO/UV mission, and allowing authorized users to access to this data in a fast and reliable way. WSA is the mission legacy that guarantees that the mission products will be usable by future users, for research, education and engineering analyses, well beyond the S/C life expired and the spacecraft operations ended. It will allow the astronomers from any country have the opportunity of accessing the high-quality data of the mission at any time (once the data is made public).