Test model of the DESTINY+ Dust Analyzer on its way to Japan

July 31, 2023

The Institute of Space Systems has reached another milestone for the planned DESTINY+ interplanetary space mission. The Dust Analyzer structural thermal model is now being tested under mission conditions in Japan.
[Picture: IRS]

The main payload for the interplanetary space mission DESTINY+, the dust telescope DESTINY+ Dust Analyzer (DDA), is being built at the University of Stuttgart. Following successful tests by the DDA in February this year, a further part of the payload is now making the journey to Japan. The structural thermal model will be subjected to vacuum and vibration tests in Japan.

Tests provide basis for further development

The structural thermal model will be integrated on the spacecraft bus in Japan, allowing the on-site research team to test the effects of the structural and thermal behavior of the satellite on the model. The test findings will be used in the development of the final proto-flight model, which will be built at the Institute of Space Systems (IRS).

The DDA team, represented by (from left to right) Jonas Simolka, Patrick Fröhlich, Jan Gläser and Florian Rieth, prepares the structural thermal model (here in black multi-insulation film) in the clean room of the Space Center Baden-Württemberg for shipment to Japan.

"Not only do the test results provide information about the thermal properties of the flight model, i.e. how the model will behave under space conditions," explains Prof. Ralf Srama, head of the dust astronomy working group at IRS. "We can also deduce where optimization is still required and equip the structural thermal model with further functions." The IRS is now developing the proto-flight model, which will be integrated on board the DDA in 2024. 

The space mission DESTINY+ will be launched in 2024

The DDA dust sensor is the main instrument aboard the interplanetary German-Japanese mission DESTINY+, implemented by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). The dust telescope on DESTINY+ (Demonstration and Experiment of Space Technology for INterplanetary voYage) is an advancement of the CDA dust detector on NASA's Cassini-Huygens spacecraft and is a pioneering development in the field of dust astronomy.

The primary target of the mission is the asteroid 3200 Phaethon. Once it has reached this target, scientists will use the DDA to analyze interplanetary dust in order to draw conclusions about the history of the formation of the solar system.

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