It’s birthday time! Today we celebrate the first anniversary of the launch of PAZ.
365 days ago, the entire team held their breath in front of the screens that retransmitted the live launch from Vandenberg's Californian base. We share this incredibly exciting moment with the colleagues of some of the companies that have participated in PAZ (Hisdesat, Airbus, DLR, INDRA, GMV, Deimos, Isdefe ...) You can remember it in SpaceX YouTube channel.
We held our breath because at that moment we left the work of the last 11 years (from the first phase of the feasibility study of the program, to the complete development of the Ground Segment) in the hands of the Falcon 9 launcher of SpaceX.
And we held our breath when we applauded and embraced celebrating the moment when PAZ left the last stage of the launcher and began its space travel, because, although excited, we were also very nervous; the mission was in our hands: they were waiting for us the first contacts with our INTA ground station, communication between the Ground Segment and the satellite and activation of the different platform and instrument units.
A year later we can celebrate that we have successfully completed each milestone of the project. The operation has been a success since the first day, thanks to the operation, development and maintenance teams.
In this year in the nominal center of PAZ, 9,214 SAR L0 level products have been processed, of which 8,010 have been analyzed by the SAR Calibration and Validation team in order to carry out the calibration activities of the antenna pattern, external calibration (radiometric) and geometric) and PAZ basic products specification. To accomplish these tasks, we have deployed the PAZ calibration field, which has involved the design and manufacture of 22 corner reflectors, located in 37 locations concentrated in 3 calibration zones in Madrid, Albacete and Zaragoza and realigned to the maximum of the satellite acquisition a total 1,032 times.
The emotion of the launch has accompanied us during this first year. And we continue maintaining it. We are submerged in the modification of the Ground Segment to support downloads in third stations and new operation modes and we have launched this week the first announcement of opportunity for scientific use of PAZ products.
We are aware that it is a privilege to work on a project of this magnitude and that we have lived an unforgettable year. Happy birthday PAZ! For many more years.
María José González Bonilla