DESC is embedded in a larger structure for 'User Support' within the Netherlands. The Dutch user support is arranged within the 'Dutch Utilisation Center', DUC. Within DUC there are three entities, i.e.
Within the ESA framework for user support nearly all ESA member states involved in microgravity research implemented user support centers or USOC's. The Dutch user support, DUC, is governed by the Netherlands Agency for Aerospace Programs (NIVR) and the Space Research Organization of the Netherlands (SRON) through the 'DUC steering group' currently chaired by the NIVR.
Structure of the Dutch Utilisation Center (DUC)
The Dutch Utilisation Center and its steering committee by NIVR and SRON has been established in 1998. One of the reasons for this setup is the outcome of the European Space Agency (ESA) guided program for a decentralized organization for the operations and support of European facilities and payloads in the Columbus Orbiting Facility (COF) on the International Space Station (ISS). In this structure you have various levels of responsibility:
When you want to read more about this you may read a paper by Wittmann et al. "A Decentralized Operations Concept for the European Payloads on the International Space Station." presented at the 51st IAF Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil October 2-6, 2000. Download PDF version (142 kB).
The various national user support organizations (N-USOs) within Europe are:
|DUC (or DUC external)|