Galileo Environmental Monitoring Unit

2017-01-31 15:50 by David Rodgers

Exploitation of radiation data from the Galileo orbit

The Galileo orbit takes these vital European spacecraft through the heart of the outer radiation belt where intense electron fluxes cause ionising dose, non-ionizing energy loss (NIEL) and internal charging. Recently an Environmental Monitoring Unit, built by RUAG in Switzerland has become operational on one of the Galileo satellites and another is awaiting launch.

A consortium led by SPARC G.P (Greece) in partnership with the University of Surrey (UK) and DHC (Belgium) has been chosen to carry out the exploitation of this data source as part of a TRP study. In an initial stage, a processing chain will be set up to convert raw data into physical quantities, including flux, current and dose, that are needed to characterise the Galileo environment.  Calibration of the instrument response will be improved through detailed radiation transport simulations. The data will be made available to support Galileo spacecraft operations and will create a valuable resource for improving our knowledge of this poorly characterised region of space. In the latter part of the study, the data will be used to validate and improve radiaton environment models.

 The study is carried out in TRP contract 4000119253 which kicked off on 30th January 2017 with a duration of 24 months.

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