DPU Payload Data Processing Unit for Solar Orbiter SWA Instrument Suite

Solar Orbiter (Artist concept)

The Solar Orbiter mission is aimed at performing close-up, high-resolution studies of our Sun and inner heliosphere.

At its closest point, the spacecraft will be closer to the Sun than any previous spacecraft (almost one-quarter of Earth's distance distance from the Sun). It will provide unique data and imagery of the Sun.

The temperature on board the spacecraft will be controlled by means of special radiators, which will dissipate excess heat into space.

The Solar Orbiter payload accommodates a Payload, with a total payload mass of 180 kg, including a number of instruments, among which the SWA (Solar Wind Analyzer) instrument.

SWA, consists of a suite of sensors (EAS1, EAS2, PAS and HIS) and a DPU (Data Processing Unit) that will measure the ion and electron bulk properties (including, density, velocity, and temperature) of the solar wind.

The DPU was developed by an Italian Consortium leaded by TSD.

The DPU Flight model was delivered to Airbus on August 2018 for the integration into the Solar Orbiter spacecraft.