Chu Ishida
Earth Observation Satellite Department, National Space Development Agency of Japan

ADEOS completed its proto-flight testing (PFT) at the Tsukuba Space Center and was disassembled and shipped to the Tanegashima Space Center, arriving on March 8.

ADEOS PFT started in December 1994 and the following tests were conducted:

Initial electric performance test (EPT)(December 1994-May 1995)
Mechanical environment test (July-August 1995)
Post mechanical environment EPT (September 1995)
NSCAT antenna deployment test (October 1995)
NSCAT stand-alone test (October 1995)
Thermal vacuum test (November-December 1995)
Final Reaction Control System test (December 1995)
Final EPT (January-February 1996)

Through the PFT, which lasted more than one year, functions and performance of the satellite system were tested and flight quality was confirmed.

During the initial EPT, there were various anomalies due to interface problems between the satellite bus and mission instruments and between the satellite system and the check-out system. Troubleshooting these problems required slipping the satellite launch from February 1996 to August 1996.

The PFT was conducted with cooperation from the mission instrument- providing agencies, i.e. NASA GSFC, JPL, CNES, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) and the Environment Agency (EA). Test data related to mission instruments were provided to the mission instrument provider for data review. Every test task was completed with the concurrence from the mission instrument providers.

The PFT was completed on February 13, and System Proto-flight Qualification Review-1 (PQR-1) was held on February 21 and 22. A press conference was held on February 13, and information about the satellite was broadcast nationwide.

After arrival at the Tanegashima Space Center, the satellite will be reassembled and post-transportation test and launch base support tasks will be performed in preparation for the scheduled launch in mid August. The ADEOS launch team and the tracking and control team will be established in April. Training and rehearsals will then be conducted.

The long-awaited satellite is now at the launch site. In less than five months, the satellite will be on orbit. Carrying eight mission instruments from Japan, US and France, the satellite will provide global data on Earth atmosphere, ocean and land. Various mission symposiums and workshops mission will be held in Japan, US and France before and after the launch to stimulate scientific and operational interest of the users in the satellite.


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