BEPICOLOMBO. Deployable magnetometer boom (MAGBOOM)

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  • Client: Airbus (Friedrichshafen)
  • Country: Germany
  • Start date: 2007
  • Ending date: 2017
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SENER is responsable of the Magnetometer Boom (MAGBOOM), which is a deployable boom holding two magnetometers that will measure Mercury's magnetic field.

BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury. It is scheduled for launch in 2018 on a trip to the smallest and most uncharted terrestrial planet in our Solar System. When the spacecraft arrives at Mercury at the end of 2025, it will have to endure temperatures of over 350 ºC, and it will collect data during its one-year nominal mission, which may be extended to another year. The mission includes two satellites, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO). BepiColombo is a joint mission between the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and its implementation is being lead by the ESA.

The deployable magnetometer boom (MAGBOOM) holds two magnetometers that will measure Mercury's magnetic field. The boom is mounted on the MPO and its purpose is to separate the magnetometers from the module of the satellite, as a way of distancing any interference that it may generate.

The most significant features of the MAGBOOM are its compatibility with extreme temperatures (very low in the earlier phases of the mission, close to earth; and very high in Mercury's orbit, very near to the Sun) and its need to avoid magnetic fields that can interfere with the magnetometer readings. Main features of the boom are:

  • Specifications:
  • Length: 2.9 m
  • Weight: 10 Kg
  • Deployment of 180º
  • Non-magnetic materials
  • Compatibility with cryogenic temperatures (for the first phases of the mission)
  • Thermal protection from solar radiation up to 15,000 W/m2 (in the area surrounding Mercury)

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