Did you know that the Solar Orbiter satellite is the most complex scientific laboratory ever sent to the Sun?

The mission was launched on February 10, 2020 to study the Sun, beginning science operations in June 2020. It is still in operation today.
It was developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) in collaboration with NASA and built by Airbus.

SolO aims to answer the following questions:

  • How and where do the solar wind plasma and magnetic field originate in the corona?
  • How do solar transients drive heliospheric variability?
  • How do solar flares produce energetic particle radiation that fills the heliosphere?
  • How does the solar dynamo work and drive the connections between the Sun and the heliosphere?

For this purpose, Airbus Crisa developed the satellite's Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit (PCDU) and the Instrument Control Unit (ICU) of the Energetic Particle Detector (EPD).
The Power Conditioning and Distribution Unit (PCDU) is responsible for power conditioning of the solar panels, battery charge and discharge management, regulating the main power Bus, distributing power to satellite users and deployment devices, telemetry and telecommand interface with the on-board computer and ground operations.

The Energetic Particle Detector (EPD) is an instrument to characterize the energetic particles that the spacecraft encounters on its path; allowing to observe their composition and variation over time.

For the EPD we have delivered the Instrument Control Unit (ICU) that allows the control and monitoring of the sensors and the collection and processing of the data. EPD is one of the Solar Orbiter instruments that is producing more scientific publications, mainly in prestigious journals such as Astrophysical Journal and Astronomy & Astrophysics.