Radiometric Calibration

The AMSU-B suite of passive microwave radiometers, established best practice for pre-launch calibration of this type of instrument. This was the result of close collaboration between the BAe engineering team and the Met Office, which ensured that the most appropriate characterisation and analysis of the instrument was undertaken.

Based on this experience, the team at JCR Systems has continued to extend the performance analysis of these instruments to develop the design concepts and verification techniques for larger cross track scanners and to adapt the design approach for conical scanners which have a history of poor pre-launch and in-orbit calibration.

This work has included development of thermal models and designs for instrument concepts and in particular detailed design and analysis of the on-board calibration targets.


Spaceborne Mechanisms

The team at JCR Systems continues to work closely with Martin Humphries at Sula Systems, particularly with respect to the development of advanced design concepts for high performance scanning mechanisms for microwave radiometers. Martin Humphries has an outstanding international reputation in the field of bespoke mechanisms for space instruments built on the considerable experience and innovative design capability of the MMS/BAe Space Systems site in Bristol until 1998. That capability was mainly focused on the design and development of challenging instrument scanning/pointing mechanisms which included the mechanisms for ATSR, AATSR, AMSU-B, MIMR pre-development, GOMOS two axes steering mechanism, Envisat’s Solar Array Primary Deployment Mechanism and ASAR deployment system.

Over the past ten years at Sula Systems, Martin has continued to lead in the concept and detailed design of a wide range of challenging space mechanisms for a number of international organizations. This has included critical mission items such as the Rosetta solar array drive and pointing mechanism, and instrument mechanisms such as: the ASCAT deployment drive, the IASI Scan Mechanism on MetOp, and the development of the Sula Boom, which was successfully flown on an SSTL mission in 2007.

Current programmes include V-BAPS, a follow on development from the original Bearing Active Pre-Load System (BAPS) that permits on orbit measurement and adjustment of bearing preload, the Broadband Radiometer (BBR) scan mechanism for the ESA/JAXA EarthCare Mission as well as the calibration switching mechanism for the EarthCare Cloud Profiling Radar and most recently the MTG Scan Mechanism for RUAG. Sula Systems are also very active in the field of agile scan mechanisms for Lidars supporting a number of ESA and EU initiatives.


Sub Millimetre-wave Technologies

JCR Systems works closely with a very broad range of technologists in the millimetre-wave and sub millimetre-wave spectrum for applications in Earth Observation. We are able to advise on trends in user needs, derived technology requirements, integration and verification needs.


Prototype Calibration Target


Thermal Model Cross Section for a Conical Scanning Calibration Sub-assembly