Solar Orbiter – The joint draft of Elecnor Deimos and Airbus

6th Mar 2021
Solar Orbiter – The joint draft of Elecnor Deimos and Airbus

Knowing what is happening on the Sun, can help people avoid many of the troubles associated with the influence of solar energy on the Earth. That is why Elecnor Deimos and Airbus are participating in the Solar Orbiter launch project, which will help to steadily observe the star and unravel its intentions.

What is the Solar Orbiter?

Solar Orbiter is a joint project of ESA and NASA, which started in February 2020. Its purpose is to study the processes taking place on and around the Sun at the maximum possible distance. It is planned to organise observations at about 42 million kilometres from the Sun, closer than Mercury is.

The project involves putting a Solar Orbiter spacecraft into orbit, which for seven years will observe the occurrences of solar wind, the reasons for its appearance, and movement. In addition, the mission plans to study the star’s magnetic field, collect data about it and transmit it to Earth.

For the Solar Orbiter launch to be successful, the aircraft and its 10 components must withstand temperatures of 500 degrees Celsius. Airbus has created a powerful heat shield with openings for five telescopes to observe the Sun. The instruments have been rigorously tested to ensure they are not interfering with image transmission, gas escaping into space, and equipment overheating.

Role of Elecnor Deimos in the project

Elecnor Deimos has been involved in the mission since the assessment phase when trajectory calculations for resonant orbits and low thrust were performed. The company’s specialists have made a significant contribution to the strategy for the development and testing of flight systems. Complicated tests were carried out on stands using simulators and real aircraft. 

These factors have all been successfully tested:

  • all onboard instruments
  • flight control systems and avionics
  • onboard software
  • operation of control centre consistency

During testing, Elecnor Deimos engineers constantly analysed the processes and made reports on each step in order to prepare for the launch of the mission as efficiently as possible and eliminate any possible failures and malfunctions in the systems.

Benefits of the Solar Orbiter mission

Solar Orbiter’ mission is designed to protect the planet and thereby improve the living conditions of humanity. Solar flares, coronal mass ejections negatively affect telecommunications, computers, navigation systems, power grids and the health of living organisms. Timely receiving data on the processes occurring on the Sun and near it, you can take protective measures, minimise negative consequences or prevent them altogether, and that is the precise goal of the Solar Orbiter mission.

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