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Huygens Probe Dependent on Terma Equipment

Terma supplied the Mission Timer Unit (MTU) for the Huygens probe.

When instruments and scientific equipment on board the Huygens probe were reactivated in January 2005 after seven years of hibernation in space, this vital operation was performed to perfection by the MTU. 

Image courtesy: ESA-D.Ducros.

The Terma Mission Timer Unit (MTU) was the only active function on Huygens during its approach to Titan after separating from the Cassini carrier.

The Terma Timer Unit activated the other instruments and functions onboard just prior to the probe's entry into the atmosphere of the Titan moon. Exact timing was crucial to the success of the mission with its tight constraints on the approach to Titan and on energy management aboard the probe.

Power supplies
All the data from Huygens had to be relayed from Cassini back to Earth; and Terma was behind the power supplies for the probe's computer as well and for the transmitter and receiver equipment on board Huygens and Cassini, respectively.

The Mission Control System
Moreover, the Mission Control System at the European Space Operation Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, was developed by Terma as well. The Mission Control System communicated with Huygens and exchanged data with the probe while still attached to Cassini.