LISA Pathfinder Enters Design Phase
20 February 2006On 16 February 2006, the ESA Mission Preliminary Design Review Board declared that the LISA Pathfinder mission is ready to proceed into the next implementation phase: the detailed design phase or Phase C.
According to the ESA practices and in line with other space organisations, a project is divided in phases. The definition phase is subdivided into Phase A and B1, and is followed by the implementation phase that consists of Phase B2, C and D. The final two phases of the mission are the eploitation and disposal phases, Phase E and F.
The results of the first phase of the implementation phase, the preliminary definition phase B2, are reviewed and assessed by a Preliminary Design Review (PDR). This review is carried out at all Project element levels, covering the spacecraft, payload, launcher and ground segment. Following the element PDR's, an all encompassing review at Mission level is held: the Mission PDR.
During the next phase - Phase C - the project will perform the detailed design of all its elements, will perform the breadboard and qualification tests needed to support the design and will refine all the plans for future activities. The Phase C will culminate into the Critical Design Review, which will authorise the manufacturing, assembly, integration and test (MAIT) of flight hardware for LISA Pathfinder. So, still a lot to come, but well underway!