Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Astronomers develop software for the Gaia satellite

Date:
December 17, 2013
Source:
Heidelberg, Universität
Summary:
Scientists have developed highly complex software for the Gaia astrometry satellite. Daily for five years, the software will track in detail the correct functioning of all on-board systems as well as the quality of the raw scientific data. The launch of Gaia will take place on 19 December 2013 at the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana. From a distance of 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, the satellite will map the stars of our Milky Way with unprecedented precision.

Heidelberg scientists have developed highly complex software for the Gaia astrometry satellite. Daily for five years, the software will track in detail the correct functioning of all on-board systems as well as the quality of the raw scientific data. Experts from the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut at the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University developed the software. The launch of Gaia will take place on 19 December 2013 at the spaceport at Kourou in French Guiana. From a distance of 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, the satellite will map the stars of our Milky Way with unprecedented precision.

Related Articles


"Astronomers hope to learn more about the formation and evolution of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, from the data Gaia will send back to Earth," says Prof. Dr. Eva Grebel. The scientist is director at the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI) and spokesperson of the university's "The Milky Way System" Collaborative Research Centre, which is studying the Milky Way and its cosmic environment. "Gaia will be in a position to map the locations of a billion stars with incredible precision, similar to measuring -- from Earth -- the diameter of a coin located on the moon," explains Dr. Ulrich Bastian, who heads a European working group of Gaia scientists and software engineers at the ARI. According to the scientists, the Gaia satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) is finally ready to begin its journey after a total of 19 years of preliminary work and eight years of construction.

The software for the so-called "First Look," which was developed in Heidelberg, comprises approx. 350,000 lines of Java code, written for the most part by the Gaia group at the ARI. Every day for five years, the software will prepare a 2,000 page report on the status of the systems on board as well as the technical integrity and scientific quality of the data. "Of course no one person is capable of reading and working through 2,000 pages of documentation a day," says Dr. Michael Biermann, head of the Heidelberg First Look team. "Instead, our software looks for and flags any deviations in the numbers, tables and diagrams of the report. This will allow the First Look team member on duty to very quickly and systematically investigate any connection to other data and look for possible solutions to problems and suggest workarounds," explains Dr. Biermann. This should prevent the loss of valuable scientific measurements or the degradation of measurement accuracy.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Heidelberg, Universität. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Heidelberg, Universität. "Astronomers develop software for the Gaia satellite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217104148.htm>.
Heidelberg, Universität. (2013, December 17). Astronomers develop software for the Gaia satellite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217104148.htm
Heidelberg, Universität. "Astronomers develop software for the Gaia satellite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131217104148.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) — Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
After Sony Hack, What's Next?

After Sony Hack, What's Next?

Reuters - US Online Video (Dec. 19, 2014) — The hacking attack on Sony Pictures has U.S. government officials weighing their response to the cyber-attack. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) — The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

How 2014 Shaped The Future Of The Internet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) — It has been a long, busy year for Net Neutrality. The stage is set for an expected landmark FCC decision sometime in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins