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Device name:NUADU
Project name:Double Star
Space probe:TC-2
Space launcher:Long March 2C/SM
Spaceport:Tai Yuan, China
Launch date:25.07.2004
Pericentre [km]:700
Apocentre [km]:39000
Inclination [°]:90
Orbital period:11 h 42 min
Orientation:to ecliptic pole

The magnetospheric mission Double Star ( Shuang-Xing ) is a Chinese - European project agreed between European Space Agency ESA and Chinese National Space Administration CNSA . The mission constitutes of two spacecraft TC-1 and TC-2 (Tan-Ce, i.e. Explorer) and cooperates with the ESA-CLUSTER mission. Thus 6-point sounding of Earth's magnetosphere is provided, as CLUSTER already operates with four satellites.

In parallel with the Chinese scientific instruments, the payload of TC-1 and TC-2 includes also European scientific instruments. With exception of NUADU, the EU-instruments are inherited from the Cluster mission (the spare models).

The Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) imager NUADU ( NeUtral Atom Detection Unit ) is installed onboard of TC-2 and provides panoramatic imaging of the ENA-emitting magnetospheric regions, particularly the ring current.

NUADU was developed specifically for operation on board of the TC-2 in the frame of European - Chinese cooperation agreed among Laboratory of Space Technology ( P.I. Susan McKENNA-LAWLOR) at National University of Ireland STIL-NUIM in Maynooth, Swedish Institute of Space Physics IRF in Kiruna and Center for Space Science and Applied Research CSSAR in Beijing. The project also cooperates with Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory JHU-APL, Maryland, USA, aiming for parallel two-point (stereo) ENA-imaging in cooperation with the NASA-IMAGE satellite.

The Department of Space Physics IEP-SAS has participated on NUADU development and construction in the frame of scientific-technical cooperation between IEP-SAS and STIL-NUIM, Maynooth, Ireland.

More popular about the project (in Slovak only):
Dvojhviezda - magazine Plus7dní 47/2004 (pdf 1.7MB).
Dvojhviezda - original version (pdf 1MB).
Môžeme pozorovať kozmickú plazmu? - magazine for science and technology QUARK 7/2005.

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