This month's news stories:Double Star Testing at IC
CSSAR Equipment and the Imperial College magnetometer (bottom right) on the test-bench, room 737 Blackett.
In July 2001 the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) signed an agreement to develop a joint project called 'Double Star' (ESA news item, CNSA news item). This agreement was designed to promote reciprocal cooperation between space scientists in Europe and China, and also to pave the way for future comprehensive collaboration between the two agencies.
A key aspect of ESA's participation in Double Star is the inclusion of five scientific instruments from European institutes. These instruments, such as the Fluxgate Magnetometer (FGM) from Imperial College London, will be very similar to the equivalent instruments flown on Cluster. Double Star carries an additional complement of instruments from the Chinese Centre for Space Science and Applied Research (CSSAR).
The teams from CSSAR, Imperial, MSSL and Astrium GmbH
To realise this, the Physics Department offered the seminar room on level 7 Blackett, which has been converted into a temporary laboratory. This currently accommodates the five European experiments, the spacecraft systems from CSSAR, plus all the test equipment needed for the job. In total, the team of European and Chinese engineers working on the pre-integration at Imperial numbers about 50!
At a reception in the level 8 lounge, we presented each of our Chinese guests with a memento of their visit to Imperial!
All teams have expressed their satisfaction with the tests and the activities have proceeded in a great spirit of cooperation, which we all hope bodes well for the future!
Chris Carr 9th October 2002
The Double Star Integration Team at Imperial College:
The European Instruments:
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