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Thales Alenia Space UK delivers key element for ExoMars 2020 mission

Posted 1 October 2018 · Add Comment

Thales Alenia Space in the UK has achieved the major milestone of delivering its IMU Flight Models to Airbus Defence and Space in UK for integration with the ExoMars Rover.



Above: As part of the ExoMars programme, Europe’s next Mars mission will deliver a rover equipped with a scientific laboratory and will land a Russian surface platform.
© Thales Alenia Space/Master Image Programme


ExoMars is a project under international cooperation between ESA (European Space Agency) and Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency), Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales (67%) and Leonardo (33%) is the prime contractor for the global programme.

The Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) designed by Thales Alenia Space in the UK has been delivered for integration in to the ExoMars Rover mission, scheduled to launch in July 2020 and arrive at Mars nine months later. The ExoMars Rover will be the first to drill two metres down the red planet’s surface, to look for traces of past or present life and retrieve samples. The IMU enables the Rover’s navigation during its mission, providing critical data on its orientation, speed and direction.

Designed, built and tested in Thales Alenia Space’s advanced facilities in Bristol, UK, these next generation IMU’s utilise a new modular concept that provides 3 axis orientation, angular rate, velocity and acceleration measurement.

The technology development incorporates very high performance Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMs) which have been qualified for spaceflight, the technology is also being advanced by Thales Alenia Space for use in satellite constellations and geostationary satellite communications.

Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency, who said: “It is great to see innovative UK technology being delivered on time for ExoMars with UK industry working well together. This realisation will help position the UK for future work on navigation systems for other exploration and robotics missions.”

Van Odedra, ExoMars Rover Project Manager for Airbus Defence and Space added: “Congratulations to the Thales Alenia Space UK team for achieving this important delivery for the rover. Please extend our thanks to all the team for their hard work and dedication to achieve this milestone.”

 

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