How Spaceball has applied its technical knowledge to the space sector

Founded in 1988, this Belgian SME specializes in software engineering and space systems and has won letters of nobility in the field of space observation applications: on-board satellite computing, launcher control software, simulation systems, ground computing in or out. It currently has about a hundred employees spread across Belgian (Liz – Hoilaart) and French (Toulouse) sites. The company has built a reputation for excellence for multiple contributions to the success of nearly fifty space missions.

“We have two main types of customers. First, with the space agency, ESA and CNES (France). And then, major contractors such as Airbus, Thales or OHB, who are often the head of the consortium, apply for tenders for the construction of the satellite. “, Explained Thierry du Pre-Warson, managing director of Spaceball. And to specify: “We’re all about launchers, earth observation, science and exploration. A

Euclid and the Dark Universe

For the purpose of studying dark matter and energy, the European satellite Euclid will depart in 2023 to face the dark side of the universe. Turns out more: To test, for at least six years, the nature of the universe as well as the reasons for the acceleration of its current expansion. Responsible for the development of the spaceball software, which will control the proper functioning of all subsystems on the satellite board, as well as the devices that need to perform the mission. The functions performed by this software are among the important elements that will contribute to the success of this symbolic mission.

Hera and planet defense

ESA has also selected Spaceball to develop on-board software for the European Hera mission, which is dedicated to deep space exploration for the purpose of defending the planet. Spaceball Hera is responsible for providing software validation for the Cubsat mission as well as creating a simulator for the development of the operations center. In collaboration with NASA’s DART spacecraft, the Hera Probe and its two cubesat will evaluate the results of a collision with an asteroid to test deviation techniques to protect the Earth from a threatening asteroid. Mission Target: A binary asteroid made up of Didymos and its moon DeMarphos. The Hera launch is scheduled for 2024 and will arrive by the end of 2026. It’s a pioneering space experience.

Altius and environmental problems

Altius, an ESA “Earth Watch” micro-satellite whose main contributor is Belgium, will detect changes in atmospheric composition and stratospheric ozone levels by mid-2025. In addition to greenhouse gas emissions, Altius will measure other trace atmospheric gases such as aerosols that affect air quality on Earth. Responsible for the development of the main contractor in the on-board software and payload data management ground segment of Spacebell Satellite, this Earth makes a major contribution to the observation mission.

Earth observation satellite

“In addition to our software development capabilities for space infrastructure, Spaceball has the ability to support the entire design of an Earth observation satellite system”, Thierry du Pre-Warson insists. “Spaceball can thus respond to requests from some states that want to have their own satellites to better manage their agriculture in the face of global warming or to monitor pollution. These mini-satellites are also used to monitor the forest for sustainable and dynamic management of our planet. ”

Last but not least, Spaceable is one of the European leaders in space, especially in the case of satellite simulators, which are very useful, for example, to analyze the causes of the breakdown on the ground and to find a solution to recover a sinking satellite.

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