• STIX - Solar Orbiter Experiments

The Solar Orbiter payload accommodates a set of in-situ and remote-sensing instruments, with a total payload mass of 180 kg.

STIX – Detector Electronics Module «STIX-DEM»

Customer: European Space Agency (ESA)

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) to be used in the «STIX» instrument – a Swiss experiment on board Solar Orbiter, scheduled for launch in 2019.

Mission Objectives

Solar Orbiter will travel to within 45 million km of the Sun (¼ of the distance between the Earth and the Sun, closer than any other spacecraft to date allowing a portion of the surface to be observed for longer periods of time without interruption. The Solar Orbiter mission will address the central questions of helio-physics, i.e. how does the Sun create and control the heliosphere?

  • STIX-Telescope-Exploded-View

The «STIX» telescope includes an Imager (left) and Detector Module (right) (Photo: FHNW)

  • STiX-DEM - DeE Alignment

Optical Alignment of the STIX Detector Electronics (DeE-Q1)

The «STIX» instrument

Developed and built under the direction of the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland, the «STIX» instrument will provide observations of the sun with unprecedented sharpness and direct measurements of solar winds and charged particles close to their point of origin. This new orbit will allow us to study the Earth side facing away from the sun and for the first time, the polar regions.

«STIX» will contribute to understanding the mechanisms behind the acceleration of electrons at the Sun and their transport into the interplanetary space. «STIX» will also play a key role in linking remote-sensing and in-situ observations on Solar Orbiter with imaging spectroscopy of solar thermal and non-thermal X-ray emissions providing quantitative information on the timing, location, intensity and spectra of accelerated electrons as well as of high temperature thermal plasmas, which are mostly associated with flares or micro-flares in the solar corona and chromosphere.

  • STIX - Telescope Exploded