Hungarian Academy of Sciences KFKI Atomic Energy Research Institute
1121 Budapest, Konkoly Thege Miklós út 29-33., Hungary * Letters: H-1525 Budapest 114, P.O.B. 49. * Tel: +36 1 392 2222 *


ROSETTA is one of the cornerstone missions of ESA’s long term scientific programme and originally planned to launch in January 2003 for studying comet Wirtanen. The launch had to be cancelled because the first test flight of an improved version of its Ariane 5 booster failed disastrously the month before. The new mission scenario will take Rosetta to a new target comet, Churyumov-Gerasimenko, the comet will be studied in-situ for at least one year, from the onset of activity beyond 3 AU to perihelion. During the comet nucleus orbit phase, a Surface Science Package (the ROSETTA Lander, named Philae) will be deployed onto the surface of the comet.

SPM (Simple Plasma Monitor) is one of the experiments of the Small Instrument Package ROMAP on the Lander which complement the plasma packages onboard the Rosetta Orbiter. The SPM sensor, the product of an international able to determine the major solar wind parameters as density, speed, temperature and flow direction. The contribution of KFKI AEKI to SPM was to design and manufacture the high voltage (HV) unit of the sensor and to participate in calibrating and testing SPM and ROMAP.

DIM is one of the experiments of the Small Instrument Package SESAME on the Lander for observing those particles on the surface of the comet which temporarily leave the surface but will fall back due to insufficient velocity. DIM senses the falling particles by an arrangement, which is based on acoustic impact monitoring principle. The expected results of the measurements will allow the determination of better models for the distribution and flux of near-surface dust and small particles as a function of their size and velocity. The contribution of KFKI AEKI to DIM was to design and manufacture the sensor, the data acquisition unit and the ground support equipment, to design the software flowchart and model source code, to participate in calibrating and testing DIM and SESAME.

In 2002 the Flight and Ground Reference Models were delivered regarding both measuring systems and they were integrated and tested with the corresponding Lander models as well.

The Rosetta probe was lifted off at last on March 2, 2004 to rendezvous with the new target comet, Churyumov-Gerasimenko in 2014, after an interplanetary voyage lasting nearly ten years.