Juno was a Nasa’s mission launched on 5th August 2011 and entered in the orbit of Juno planet in 2016. The scientific aim concerned the understanding of the Juno’s origin and evolution, by using a space rotation probe fostered by solar energy. Juno provided gravimetric maps of the magnetic field and of the atmospheric composition from an unique polar orbit with a near perijove.
SpaceDyS had a contract with University of Pisa in order to develop an orbital determination code for the radio-science experiment, leaded by the Juno mission.
Bepi Colombo is an ESA’s mission (European Space Agency), which will be launched in 2018 with the aim to perform a deep exploration of Mercury. It is known as one of the most daring planetary long term projects. Just two missions reached Mercury in the past; Mariner 10, which flied over the planet three times in 1974-1975 and Messenger, which achieved some fly-by in January and October 2008, September 2009 and began its year orbital stage in March 2011. The mission BEPI Colombo is made up by two space probe, which must be positioned in orbit around Mercury. The experiment of radio science is one of the on board experiments, which coordinates gravimetric, rotation and relativity experiments by using range and accurate rate range tracking. These measurements will be obtained by a “full 5 – way link” with orbiter of Mercury. By using the dependence of the frequency of the refractoriness index, the difference between the measurements Doppler (obtained in the bands Ka and X) and the delay supplies information on plasma contents along the path of the radio waves. In this way most of the measurement’s errors introduced can be removed and improved at least two orders of size the accuracy in comparison of the previous technologies.
The team has been cooperating with (Celestial Mechanics Group – CMG) for the realization of the orbit determination code, which will be used for the experiment of MORE (Mercury Orbiter Radioscience Experiment) related the mission of Bepi Colombo: link: http://sci.esa.int/bepicolombo