journal 18-November-2017 20:20:33

TGO's best FREND

22 January 2016

The better of two flight models of FREND, the Fine Resolution Epithermal Neutron Detector, has been installed on the Trace Gas Orbiter during the launch preparation activities in Baikonur.

The FREND instrument is one of four science instruments carried by the Trace Gas Orbiter. It will map hydrogen on the surface down to a metre deep, revealing deposits of water-ice near the surface. FREND's mapping of shallow subsurface water-ice will be up to 10 times better than existing measurements. It is one of two instruments provided by the Space Research Institute (IKI) of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

Tests carried out on the FREND flight model, just before leaving Cannes, indicated that one of the four detectors in the instrument showed some elevated noise, which would have led to slightly degraded performance. Since there was a fully tested flight spare available, and there was a little margin in the assembly and integration schedule, the ExoMars team, jointly with their Russian partners, decided to replace that model on the Trace Gas Orbiter with the better flight spare model.

The swap was carried out at the beginning of this month and all indications are that it was smooth and without issues.

This set of photographs shows some of the steps involved in swapping the FREND flight model on the Trace Gas Orbiter with the flight spare model.

 

All picture credit: ESA - B. Bethge.

The FREND flight spare model on a bench in the cleanroom in Baikonur.
Removal of MLI from the FREND flight model on the Trace Gas Orbiter. Checking the FREND flight spare model.
Inspecting the FREND flight model on the Trace Gas Orbiter after removal of MLI. Removal of FREND flight model from Trace Gas Orbiter.
The FREND flight spare model (right), flight model (centre) and MLI (left). Testing the newly installed FREND flight spare model on the Trace Gas Orbiter.

 


Last Update: 22 January 2016

For further information please contact: RoboticExploration@esa.int

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