On February the 2nd, at 8:51 am (Italian time), from the Chinese base of the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center, in the Gobi Desert (inner Mongolia), the CSES satellite (China Seismic-Electromagnetic Satellite), outcome of a cooperation between the Chinese National Space Agency (CNSA) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI), will be launched. The International Telematic University UNINETTUNO, which gave its contribution to all project phases, played an essential role: design of the equipment, procurements for building the sensors to the development of the software package for analyzing the collected data.
Italy takes part in the mission through the “LIMADOU Collaboration”, led by Prof. Piergiorgio Picozza, professor of Physics at UNINETTUNO University, Professor Emeritus at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and member of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN). The supervisor of UNINETTUNO’s research unit is Livio Conti, coordinator of the “UNINETTUNO – Earth” team and working, since many years, at studying the physics of the particles of Van Allen’s Belts, of electromagnetic emissions associated to earthquakes and of the Space Weather. Other research units of the “LIMADOU Collaboration” are those of the INFN, of the University of Bologna, of Rome Tor Vergata and Trento and of the INAF-IAPS, IFAC-CNR and INGV Institutes.
The CSES satellite will observe the Earth from space in order to monitor seismic phenomena and volcanic eruptions. The aim of the mission – that will be running for 5 years – is that of checking whether there are disturbances in the high ionosphere and magnetosphere that may occur before and during the most violent earthquakes. More generally speaking, the CSES mission will contribute to the study of Sun-Earth interactions and the effects of the solar wind on the Planet.
On board of the satellite there are nine equipments that measure the streams of particles charged with high energy, electromagnetic fields and plasma parameters. Among them a HEPD particles sensor, completely realized in Italy also with UNINETTUNO’s contribution; an EFD electrical fields detector, jointly developed by China and Italy and the Langmuir Probes, tested in the plasma room under the supervision of UNINETTUNO’s researchers.
In the framework of the LIMADOU cooperation, the researchers, Dario Assante, Simona Bartocci, Claudio Fornaro and Giuliano Vannaroni of UNINETTUNO’ Engineering Faculty are engaged in studying the physics of Van Allen’s particles, in quality assurance activities for electronic devices, in developing a data acquisition system and in tests carried on in the plasma room.
For further details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSES_Mission
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