April 20, 2017

Events Archive

2012 events

03/2012: Ffiord/Prisma Seminar presentations now available

Part of the Ffiord experiment’s results was presented during a seminar held at CNES offices in Toulouse on 7th March 2012.

Ffiord participants and result presentations are now available through the detailled timetable.


07/03/2012: Ffiord/Prisma Seminar in Toulouse

CNES took part in the Prisma mission through the implementation of the Ffiord experiment, demonstrating in-orbit rendezvous and formation flying technologies built around a new generation of sensors.

The nominal Prisma mission, carried out from August 2010 to March 2011, used the FFRF radio-frequency sensor developed by Thales Alenia Space and co-funded by CNES/CDTI.

Additional experiments took place in October and November 2011 as part of the extended mission. The project was a success and gave CNES and its partners significant experience in the use of these new technologies.

CNES has therefore decided to organize a one day seminar to share with his partners some of the Ffiord results and explore the potential perpectives of the different techniques being involved.

This event was held in CNES Toulouse offices on 7th March 2012 from 9 am to 5 pm (Room Leonard de Vinci)

Ffiord participants and results presentations were done in the morning, as well as a general overview of the various innovations involved in the project (software development, operations organisation, etc.).

In the afternoon, the CNES Programmes Department presented the various fields which would benefit from these rendezvous and formation flying techniques. These presentations were followed by a general overview of the current advancement in those fields and a review of the various technological elements that had yet to be developed or demonstrated.

An open discussion concluded the day’s proceedings.

2010 events

11/11/2010: Tango and Mango flying in formation

710 km above our planet’s surface, the Prisma-Ffiord mission’s satellite Tango is soaring through the night at 27,000 km/h.

It may come as a surprise, but this image is not an artist’s view of the scene. It is a photograph taken in October by Mango, the technological demonstrator mission’s main satellite, at the time dancing a pas de deux with Tango. At the time, the two satellite were flying in close formation, only 15 m apart.

Read the full story here (in French).

Photography of Tango taken by Mango
Photograph of Tango taken by Mango


06/09/2010: FFRF commissioning: close to the ultimate performance

Since the beginning of the FFRF experiment the previous week, the subsystem was subjected to a series of operational tests and proved to be highly resistant to any operational restriction scenario (link interruption, power shift, etc.). Thanks to the Autonomous Formation Flying (AFF) variable trajectory and the SSC operational teams’ reactivity, we were able to test the instrument in various inter-satellite configurations (relative distance, speed, line of sight, as well as antenna array selection for Tango). These tests were very successful.

Read the full story here.

FFRF fine distance measurement over a 14 hour period
FFRF fine distance measurement over a 14-hour period

30/08/2010: First FFRF measurements

Alongside the Early Harvest AFF, the FFRF subsystem experiment began on 30th August 2010, with Tango’s and Mango’s FFRF instruments turning on for the first time at 6:33 pm and 6:39 pm (UTC) respectively. 10 minutes later, CNES was able to monitor live the successful pairing of the two RF receivers with the two transmitters, establishing the first in-orbit RF metrology link.

Read the full story here.

First coarse distance measurements
First coarse distance measurements


11/08/2010 The two Prisma satellites (Mango and Tango) were successfully separated on 11th August at 5:51 pm (UTC)

This event marked the beginning of formation flying for the Prisma mission.

Image of Tango taken by Mango
Image of Tango taken by Mango


28/06/2010: Commissioning phase: Tango’s FFRF sensor was powered up


22/06/2010: The LEOP ("Launch and Early Orbit Phase") completed successfully

Prisma is now in commissioning phase.

First "results" of the commissioning phase: MANGO FFRF sensor has been powered on.


15/06/2010: Successful launch of PRISMA satellites

lancement PICARD
video lancement Prisma (MP4 format ~6.5 Mb)


04/2010: Ffiord operational aptitude review

2009 events

12/2009: Prisma operational aptitude review


06/2009: Flight aptitude review

2008 events

06/2008: Ffiord Critical Design Review


01/2008: FFRF Critical Design Review

2006 events

06/2006: FFRF Preliminary Design Review