10 Feb 2020
Solar Orbiter, the space mission resulting from an international collaboration between ESA and NASA has just been launched from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas V411 rocket. It will take two years to reach its operational orbit. Aboard the satellite, 10 scientific instruments will help to scrutinize the sun. Many scientific institutes and industrial partners have contributed to this mission, which is expected to make unprecedented high-resolution observations of the solar poles. Interconnect links designed and manufactured by Axon' Cable are on their way to the sun.
An impressive contribution
For ground test equipment, or instruments such as the Energy Particle Detector (EPD), the Polarimetric and Helioseismic Imager (PHI), Axon' Cable's contribution to this project is impressive. For such a project, the electrical connections must be without any defect. Miniature connectors, ESA-certified wires, data transmission harnesses, lightweight SpaceWire high-speed links which allows for a significant weight saving, links terminated with Micro-D connectors. All Axon' space expertise was used.
Close to the Sun
Solar Orbiter will be approaching 42 million kilometers from the solar system. Which on a spatial scale is close. The sun's rays are 13 times more intense there than on Earth. To withstand very high radiation, temperatures of over 500°C, the orbiter is protected by a shield. The satellite is equipped with a boom designed to support and deploy instruments which, because of their sensitivity to magnetic fields, needed to be placed far from the electromagnetic disturbances generated by the satellite. This was one of the technical challenges of this mission: Axon' used its expertise in non-magnetic connectors and micro-D connectors dedicated to space to connect the magnetometers to the satellite's boom without the connections disturbing the instruments. First observations in 2 years’ time.
Source: ESA, Airbus