Critical Software will be the leading supplier of on-board software for the set of Sentinel satellites, part of the European Earth Observation GMES program – Global Monitoring for Environment and Security Space Component.
The value of the contracts awarded to Critical is around four million euros and will involve more than 30 engineers from the Portuguese company, at different stages of the project’s development, during the next two years.
Sentinels are the basis of the GMES Space Component, which is being created under the supervision of the European Space Agency, and are expected to provide information on how the planet and climate are changing, the role played by humans in changes and how they will influence people’s daily habits.
The GMES Space Component consists of five types of new satellites, called Sentinels, which are being developed specifically for the collection of images by land, sea and monitoring of the atmosphere.
The first three Sentinels are currently being developed, with the launch of Sentinel-1 scheduled for late 2012 and Sentinel-1b (its replica) a few years later.
With the mission of systematically covering the planet’s terrestrial surface, to produce cloud-free images over Europe, Sentinel-2e is expected to be launched into space in late 2012.
Sentinel-3, whose mission is to determine the topography of the sea surface, the temperature of the earth’s surface, is expected to launch in 2013.
Critical Software is responsible for software independent validation and verification (ISVV) of several of the components of Sentinel-1 and, at the same time, is developing and will implement and integrate the central software of Sentinel-2. For Sentinel-3, Critical Software has already started the development phase of the on-board software, which will also be verified and validated by the company.