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


A reference compound to calibrate the analyzer of the Mars rover Perseverance

How do you calibrate a device once on Mars? On board the “Perseverance” rover, the SuperCam module will have a series of reference samples to improve the accuracy of mineralogical […]



21 Years of XMM-Newton celebrated with a new catalogue and an ambitious citizen science project

On the 21st anniversary of the launch of the European Space Agency’s X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, the XMM-Newton Survey Science Centre (XMM-SSC) are releasing a new catalogue, 4XMM-DR10, of all of […]



PEP consortium delivers flight models of the first four particle detectors of the JUICE probe to Jupiter

After 8 years of development, the PEP consortium, which includes IRAP (CNRS, Université Paul Sabatier de Toulouse and CNES) (1), has just delivered to Airbus the flight models of the […]