On Saturday 15 July at 12:40 hrs GMT, Cluster II is to be launched from
the Baikonour rocket base in Kazakhstan. A Russian Soyuz launcher put two
identical solar research satellites into polar elliptical orbit with
altitudes ranging from 19 000 to 119 000 km. The European Space Agency
(ESA), in which Sweden is one of the 15 participating countries, has
initiated and is leading this unique solar research experiment.
Saab Ericsson Space in Göteborg, Sweden is responsible for the satellites'
antennas and harness, and the separation system that releases and rejects
the satellites away from the launch vehicle at the desired altitude.
Austrian Aerospace, a subsidiary of Saab Ericsson Space, has developed the
satellites' thermal hardware. A total of four satellites are included in
the Cluster II experiment. The remaining two will be launched on 9 August,
also from the Baikonour base in Kazakhstan.
Cluster II is part of a larger international program whose task is to
study the interactions of the Sun and Earth. The satellites will be part
of a cluster of satellites from several different countries, including the
previously launched ESA/NASA SOHO satellite, among others, monitoring the
Sun and the high-speed solar wind of charged particles, consisting mainly
of electrons and protons that are blasted from the surface of the Sun into
The Cluster II satellites will pass through the Earth's magnetic field
over a period of two years to complete the most detailed investigation to
date on how the Sun and Earth interact. They are equipped with a number of
instruments for making various measurements of charged particles and
electrical and magnetic fields. Swedish scientists have participated in
the development of the instruments.
Saab Ericsson Space is an independent supplier of space equipment. The
company develops and manufactures computers, antenna systems, microwave
electronics, guidance and separation systems for launch vehicles,
satellites and other spacecraft, and is world market leader in a number of
its product areas.
The headquarters are located in Göteborg. The company has a division at
Saab in Linköping and subsidiaries in Austria and the USA. Employees
number 650 and more than half of them hold master's or doctor's degrees in
The company is owned by Saab and Ericsson.
Saab är norra Europas ledande högteknologiska företag, verksamt inom
försvars-, flyg- och rymdindustrin, och erbjuder avancerade produkter och
system som bygger på sofistikerad informationsteknologi. Affärsområdena är
Infomatics, Aerospace, Dynamics, Technical Support and Services, Space och
Ericsson is the leading communications supplier, combining innovation in
mobility and Internet in creating the new era of Mobile Internet. Ericsson
provides total solutions covering everything from systems and applications
to mobile phones and other communications tools.
For further information, please contact:
Iréne Svensson, Director of Communications tel. +46 (0)31-735 44 63.
This information is also available at our web site
This information was brought to you by BIT http://www.bit.se
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