October 6, 2014


Exemplary cooperation

By providing the Swarm mission with an instrument with unique capabilities and unequalled performance, CNES has thoroughly fulfilled its role as a catalyst for innovation, both on behalf of ESA, by fulfilling the requirements for reliability and availability imposed by the European Space Agency, and on behalf of CEA-Leti, by enabling the prototype magnetometer developed by the laboratory to "win its spurs" for spaceflight.

Between CNES and ESA

CNES was responsible for providing ESA with six absolute magnetometers, two for each of the three Swarm satellites, together with the corresponding algorithms.
The French Space Agency also assisted the prime contractor, EADS-Astrium GmbH, with integration and testing of the magnetometers on the satellites. Lastly, CNES is responsible for validating the Level 1B data from the absolute magnetometers.
ESA, meanwhile, is responsible for developing, testing, launching and operating the Swarm constellation. The European Space Agency, which will be distributing the data from Swarm, also undertakes to give CNES access to all data necessary for validating the magnetometer readings, especially magnetic vector field measurements.

Between CNES and CEA-Leti

CNES commissioned CEA-Leti to produce the Absolute Scalar Magnetometers, but continued to work closely with Leti throughout their development, especially in order to guarantee high-quality manufacturing processes, ensure that performance could be reproduced on the different flight models, and verify the aptitude of the many innovative technologies in these instruments to resist space conditions throughout the mission. Because of the instrument's specific needs some components of the magnetometer had to be wholly qualified for spaceflight as no equivalents were available "off-the-shelf". The main items that had to be qualified for space-readiness were the fibre laser in the instrument's electronic control unit, the piezoelectric motor for controlling the measurement probe, and various materials (including PEEK), components and processes.
Experts from CNES were also involved on several occasions in engineering calculations during the design phases and expert assessment of anomalies during integration and test phases.
The very flexible partnership between the CEA and CNES laid the ground work for exemplary cooperation in which each party willingly made available its own know-how for the project.

Between CNES and IPGP

The Paris Institute of Earth Physics (IPGP) provided the scientific expertise for the magnetometers, led by the project's principal investigator, Gauthier Hulot. IPGP will be responsible for scientific validation of the data collected by the ASMs, a task which will benefit the entire scientific community involved in Swarm. IPGP will also play a major role in exploiting the scientific aspects of the entire mission.

Between CNES and the research laboratories

Lastly, via the Earth, Ocean, Continental Surfaces and Atmosphere committee (TOSCA), CNES supports French laboratories doing research on terrestrial magnetism and the scientific community involved in the Swarm mission. Once Swarm has been launched, CNES will continue to support the mission, via its calls for "Proposals for research in the space sciences".

Exemplary cooperation : Quotes