Critical technology on the way to space

Critical technology on the way to space

Two satellites, Herschel and Planck, are launched into orbit today. With you take Portuguese technology from Critical Software, which was part of the European industrial consortium created to support the development of software for these missions.

The Coimbra company was tasked with adapting and qualifying the operating system of the computers that integrate the satellites and that embody a mission already considered as the most complex ever carried out by the European Space Agency.

The problem that Critical helped solve allows the operating system needed for the operation to «fit» the memory and processing resources available on each satellite’s on-board computer, which it did not.

Herschel is the largest infrared observatory in space right now. 7.5 meters high, 4 meters in diameter and a launch mass of around 3.4 tons, it carries the largest integral mirror ever built for a space telescope. You will observe wavelengths in a way that has not been explored so far.

Planck will collect and characterize the Cosmic Background Radiation with its 4.2 meters high and others in diameter and a launch mass of about 1.9 tons.

The trip that the two satellites will have to make from Earth takes four months and will take them into an orbit 1.5 million kilometers from the earth.