Orbiting the Sun

Solar Orbiter is an ESA space probe and part of the Cosmic Vision program that will be launched on 6th February 2020 from the Kennedy Space Center in the USA on a mission to study the Sun up-close.

Solar Orbiter will make numerous gravity assisted flybys of Venus (and one of Earth) over the course of its mission to adjust its orbit, bringing it closer to the Sun and also out of the plane of the Solar System to observe the Sun from progressively higher inclinations. This will enable the spacecraft to take the first ever images of the Sun’s unchartered polar regions from high-latitudes, crucial for understanding how our Sun works.

During its closest approaches to the Sun, which bring Solar Orbiter to within the orbit of Mercury, the spacecraft will also be travelling fast enough to study how magnetically active regions evolve for up to four weeks at a time. This important mission will also investigate the Sun-Earth connection, helping us to better understand and predict periods of stormy space weather.

Art of Technology (together with prime contractor Almatech Sarl) was awarded a contract by the European Space Agency (ESA) for the design, development, production and supply of the Detector Electronics Module (DEM) used in the «STIX» instrument – a Swiss experiment on board Solar Orbiter.