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7 January 2004 MTI system design and operations lessons learned
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The Multispectral Thermal Imager Satellite (MTI), launched on March 12, 2000, has now surpassed its one-year mission requirement and its three-year mission goal. Primary and secondary program objectives regarding the development and evaluation of space-based multispectral and thermal imaging technology for nonproliferation treaty monitoring and other national security and civilian application have been met. Valuable lessons have also been learned, both from things that worked especially well and from shortcomings and anomalies encountered. This paper addresses lessons associated with the satellite, ground station and system operations, while companion papers address lessons associated with radiometric calibration, band-to-band registration and scientific processes and results. Things addressed in this paper that went especially well include overall satellite design, ground station design, system operations, and integration and test. Anomalies and other problems addressed herein include gyro and mass storage unit failures, battery under-voltage trips, a blown fuse, unexpected effects induced by communication link noise, ground station problems, and anomalies resulting from human error. In spite of MTI’s single-string design, the operations team has been successful in working around these problems, and the satellite continues to collect valuable mission data.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Max L. Decker, R. Rex Kay, and Brian C. Brock "MTI system design and operations lessons learned", Proc. SPIE 5159, Imaging Spectrometry IX, (7 January 2004);


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