🇸🇪 SSC supports ESA satellite observing vegetation growth

October 9, 2023

Press release from SSC

SSC supports ESA satellite observing vegetation growth

SSC is supporting ESA’s Proba-V Companion CubeSat (PVCC) satellite that was successfully launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana on October 9th at 03:36 AM (CEST). Through our SSC Connect network capabilities, SSC provides critical ground station connectivity for the mission. The PVCC satellite aims to observe vegetation growth as well as facilitate land surface temperature and water stress research across the entire planet. SSC supports the LEOP phase and will provide daily X-Band and S-Band routine pass support. 

The PVCC satellite is set to fly a cut-down version of the Vegetation Imager which was originally used during the development of its predecessor Proba-V (Project for On-Board Autonomy – Vegetation). The previous mission was to map land cover and vegetation growth across the entire planet every two days. PVCC will complement Proba-V’s observations by expanding its coverage in the visible to a thermal domain. It will facilitate research on water stress and land surface temperature.

SSC provides support for the mission during the Launch and Early Orbit Phase (LEOP), when the satellite is launched and placed into orbit, complementing ESA’s ground station in Redu, Belgium, with additional passes from SSC Connect’s polar stations in Kiruna and Inuvik. The strong Kinuvik station combination will ensure extended artic coverage and a greater ability to locate and control the satellite when it is positioned into orbit. SSC was also chosen to provide daily X-Band and S-Band routine pass support as the satellite orbits Earth.

“Through our SSC Connect antenna ground network, we cover not only the LEOP phase but also the routine phase, ensuring a high level of operational performance guaranteed by a contractual service level agreement. The ESA network, along with our stations, will facilitate the download of data collected by PVCC, as well as the reception of telemetry and the transmission of command and control signals to the satellite,” says Axel Vidmark, Head of Business Development EMEA, SSC Connect.

“With a proven track record in delivering robust space-ground communications for ESA/ESRIN, SSC offers valuable technical capabilities that will benefit our PVCC mission. SSC was successfully granting the satellite to ground service in the operations of Proba-V and PVCC ones will be the natural continuation of this service,” says Roberto Biasutti, Ground Segment Manager at ESA.

The PVCC is a 12-unit CubeSat – a small, low-cost satellite built up from standardized 10-cm cube form factor boxes. It will fly at an altitude of 564 km in a sun-synchronous orbit.

Originally published on 9 October.