The BRITE-Constellation ground segments are installations that provide communications with the satellites, and allow the operation of each paricular constellation spacecraft . They also include data archives and provide tools for the community to access the data. Furthermore, ground-based observatories with telescopes which can be used to collect additional data from primary and secondary BRITE target stars are important components of the ground segment.
To summarize, the main BRITE-Constellation ground segments are:
- Ground Stations
- Operation Centres
- Data Centres and Archives
- Complementary Ground Based Observatories
The picture to the right shows a satellite operations room at UTIAS-SFL ind Toronto Canada.
Operating two satellites at the beginning of the mission, BRITE-AUSTRIA and UniBRITE, and later in the project up to six contemporaneously working satellites will be a challenging enterprise. It will require a high level of coordination with very limited personnel. Efficient communication between the leading groups, operationally, as well as scientifically from Austria, Poland and Canada is needed to guarantee successful data collection and first-order reduction and distribution. Even though BRITE-Constellation is funded by sources from three individual countries, operation needs to be organized in a simple, centralized, and top-down structure according to guide lines first developed and adopted by all international partners (see BEST).
The picture shows a parabol antennae on the roof of the Technical University Vienna. This installation will be used to communicate with the BRITE-Constellation satellites.