Planetary, lunar and solar instuments

Artist's impression of Solar Orbiter
(Credit: ESA)

The Thermal Engineering Group within RAL Space, is one of few in the world with expertise in design and testing of Mars landers so that they can work in the harsh and cold environments on the surface of the red planet. Our project experience includes:

  • SMART-1 D-CIXS
  • Mars Express Beagle 2
  • Huygens SSP (Surface Science Package)
  • Rosetta Lander Ptolemy
  • SOHO CDS (Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer)

RAL Space lead a team for the Demonstration Compact Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (D-CIXS) on SMART-1 (link opens in a new window) an ESA (European Space Agency) mission.

RAL Space were the thermal engineers for the instrument throughout the entire project lifecycle, from conceptual studies and detailed thermal design and analysis, through to hardware procurement, thermal vacuum and thermal balance testing.

We also provided thermal systems engineering on the Coronal Diagnostic Spectrometer (CDS) instrument on SOHO, and are part of a consortium, designing the SPICE instrument an EUV spectrometer for the NASA/ESA Solar Orbiter (link opens in a new window).


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