The team behind iriss: B.USOC

B.USOC. Credits: B.USOC

B.USOC. Credits: B.USOC

Many people support a mission in space. We invite you to meet the teams that are keeping Andreas Mogensen and the International Space Station safe and running experiments, in their own words:

What is your team name?
B.USOC

What does your team name stand for?
Belgian User Support and Operations Centre

What do you do?
We are responsible for preparing and executing scientific experiments and instruments on the International Space Station and provide real-time support during experiment execution. Most of our time is spent in our control room where we operate the experiments.

During the iriss mission, we had two additional experiments done by ESA astronaut Andreas Mogensen: Thor and METERON SUPVIS-E.

B.USOC. Credits: B.USOC

B.USOC. Credits: B.USOC

What does your work typical day look like?
We have different teams that each are responsible for one of our experiments. To cover the experiment requirements, we work in shifts. The Thor and Solar team have a morning and afternoon shift, Meteron is bound to business hours.

Solar observes the sun and is being controlled by sending commands to start specific measurements and calibrations. This planning is provided to us by the scientists. So a typical working day contains 16 hours of measurements.

Thor is an experiment where Andreas is chasing Clouds and Transient Luminous Events above  Thunderstorms, with an optical camera. Planning the events, ground support to the observation and managing the good reception of imagery is done during the two day-shifts. A great movie from Andreas filming thunderstorms has just been released!

Meteron usually follows day shifts and consists of testing the control of multiple robotic assets from orbit and the whole communication network. These tests led to the Supvis-E experiment was successfully executed by Andreas on flight day 7.

For all these experiments, we act as focal point for Columbus Control Centre and provide the necessary support for replanning, input for experiment related crew messages etc.

How is working for iriss?
Everybody is giving his full 100% to have everything executed successfully. It is for sure a crowded week. So far so good!

What is the best part of your job?
Or rather: Which was the best day on the job?

Tuesday 8 September 2015 will stay in the memories of many B.USOC operators for a long time!  On that day, flight Day 7 of the iriss mission, we were engaged in two experiments successfully achieved.

That day, the Supvis-E experiment was accomplished with great success. The activity consisted of Andreas controlling the Eurobot rover located at ESTEC and executing a scenario including multiple robotic assets. The activity went so flawlessly that 3 sessions were executed in one, thanks to the good preparation of the several teams on ground and the efficiency of Andreas.

The day continued with another important objective! Andreas tracked and took pictures of Clouds Turrets from the Pirs Window, for the Thor experiment.  “Easy and straightforward activity” as reported Andreas at the end of day. The Thor experiment is led by a science team of the Technical University of Denmark and aims to study of atmospheric luminous phenomena related to large thunderstorms.  Andreas will continue to observe events that happens above thunderstorms, Clouds Turrets but also Transient Luminous Events during his stay on the station.

Anything else?
We are about to celebrate a successful iriss mission tonight. Feel free to join, all invited in Brussels!

B.USOC. Credits: B.USOC

B.USOC. Credits: B.USOC

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