BEpi Colombo Laser Altimeter (BELA)


BELA (BEpi Colombo Laser Altimeter)

Mission: BepiColombo (ESA)
Target: Mercury

Planetary laser altimeter system for Mercury.

The main scientific objectives of the mission will be achieved via a number of studies:

  * Origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star.
  * Mercury's figure, interior structure, and composition.
  * Characteristics and origin of its internal magnetic field.
  * Exo- and endogenic surface modifications: cratering, tectonics,
    polar deposits and volcanism.
  * Structure, composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury's exosphere.
  * Structure and dynamics of Mercury's magnetosphere.
  * Test of Einstein's Theory of General Relativity.

IAA development: 
  • ELU

The ELU is an electronics box which houses the Power Converter Module (PCM), the Digital Electronics Module (DPM) and the Rangefinder Electronics Module (RFM). It is being integrated by DLR-PF in Berlin.

  • PCM

The PCM takes the spacecraft power supply (which is nominally 28 Volts)
and converts the voltage to several other voltages that BELA needs to
drive its electronics. The board is redundant so that a failure of one
PCM will not lead to a complete failure of the experiment. The PCM is
being developed by the Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucia (IAA) in
Granada in cooperation with Spanish industry (CRISA).

Status: Currently working on analyzing test data from the BELA Qualification Model.Preparing delivery of Flight Model
Launch date: April, 2018
First light: 2024