Research Projects: Space Experiments
Acquisition Electronics for Satellite Missions
Launched in February 2020, Solar Orbiter is an ESA mission designed to observe the sun and provide in-situ measurements of the heliosphere very close to the sun. The aim is to clarify fundamental relationships between the rapidly changing heliosphere and the solar wind. CGC Instruments was involved in the development of the device complex SWA (Solar Wind Plasma Analyser). In cooperation with the IRAP/CNRS Toulouse and the Charles University in Prague, parts of the acquisition electronics were developed. CGC Instruments has also provided consulting in the manufacturing and testing of the detection electronics of the proton/alpha-particle analyzer, of the HV power supplies, and of the ground test facility.
The microsatellite TARANIS was a planned mission of the French space agency CNES whose launch failed in November 2020. The goal was the study of light phenomena on the top of thunderclouds up to the ionosphere. The designed experiment IDEE was intended to characterize electron beams accelerated from the atmosphere into the magnetosphere. As a partner of the Charles University in Prague and the IRAP/CNRS Toulouse, CGC Instruments was involved in the development of the acquisition electronics.
BMSW was a space experiment on the spacecraft Spektr-R designed to study the solar wind. It was launched into Earth orbit in August 2011 and was still operational when contact to the spacecraft was lost in January 2019. Together with the Charles University in Prague and the Institute for Space Research (IKI) in Moscow, CGC Instruments developed and manufactured the hardware of the test and flight models. A novel measurement method made it possible to acquire data with a previously unattainable temporal resolution, which was used to study turbulences and discontinuities of the solar wind plasma. Moreover, the accuracy of the determination of the ion distribution function surpassed previous experiments worldwide. The data yielded new information about fast changes in the relative concentration of protons and alpha particles.