Successful test of the MEA Electron Analyzers on the BepiColombo/Mio probe

The first phase of the commissioning of the MEA electron analyzers on the BepiColombo/Mio probe went perfectly. The two instruments were switched on for the first time on Saturday 24 November for 3 hours under the close supervision of the IRAP researchers and engineers at the European Space Agency’s operations centre in Darmstadt, Germany. The BepiColombo mission was then more than 11 million km from Earth.

The purpose of this first power-up was to check the good health of the two analysers after launch and the good communication between the satellite, the data processing unit (“DPU”) and the latter.

The first figure below represents the first auxiliary data (“housekeeping”) of the MEA1 electron analyzer once it is switched on (left, yellow, ON), allowing to check its good health (right, green, current values and temperatures of the electronics and detectors embedded in the instrument).

The second figure below shows the data of the MEA2 analyzer once the test mode is activated, which allows to check after injection of a signal (simulated scientific data) that the 16 sectors of the instrument count well.

The MEA electron analyzers have been put on standby again for 6 months, until summer 2019, when the second phase of the more critical in-flight recipe will take place, with the first ignition of the electron analyzers’ high voltages and the first real scientific data this time.

IRAP Contact

  • Nicolas André,

More news


The SF2A Young Researcher 2022 Prize is awarded to … Audrey Coutens

Press release of the SF2A Audrey Coutens is an assistant astronomer at IRAP since 2021, and she carries out her research on the interstellar medium and the formation sites of […]



F-CELT: an EquipEx+ for the French contribution to the Extremely Large Telescope instruments

In 2027, the largest optical telescope ever built will see its first light at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Named ELT, for Extremely Large […]



The ChemCam team awarded by the Explorers Club

The engineering team of the ChemCam instrument on the Mars rover Curiosity has received a Citation of Merit from the The Explorers Club academic society, which promotes scientific exploration and […]