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Finnish Technology Heads to Venus

08.11.2005


Venus Express, the first mission to Venus by the European Space Agency (ESA), uses Finnish technology for two crucial devices.



The probe is to be launched on Wednesday, Nov. 9 from Kazakhstan. Venus Express is scheduled to arrive at its destination next April. It will then begin to study the second planet’s atmosphere, surface and other characteristics.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) designed the computer system and software for the probe’s ASPERA-4 particle measuring device. Meanwhile the spacecraft’s power distribution unit works on technology from the Finnish company Patria.


The ASPERA-4 is intended to measure the plasma and neutral particle environment in the immediate vicinity of Venus. The device will analyse ion escape and other phenomena in Venus’s upper atmosphere. FMI was also partly responsible for its predecessor, ASPERA-3, which is now studying Mars on board ESA’s Mars Express probe.

The Finnish-designed power distribution unit transfers electricity gathered by the spacecraft’s solar panels to the probe’s subsidiary systems and measuring equipment. It is also responsible for opening the probe’s solar panels and antennas after launch.

Patria has already designed and delivered distribution units for ESA’s Rosetta, Mars Express and Cryosat projects. These jobs have bolstered Patria’s know-how as a supplier of power distribution units and helped pave the way for ESA’s major future satellite projects.

Eeva Ahola | alfa
Further information:
http://www.tekes.fi
http://www.tekes.fi/eng/

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