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Largest space project for Terma


With delivery of the final scientific and technical instruments, another big goal has been reached for the ASIM observatory.

Herlev/Lystrup - As technical main contractor on the ASIM project, Terma these days deliver the scientific and technical instruments for the final integration and test, before the observatory is made ready for launch to the International Space Station – ISS.

Lab work on ASIM

It has been a very exciting and educational task that we have worked on for more than 9 years, since we landed the task as technical project lead from the European Space Agency, ESA”, says Project Manager Ole Hartnack.

ASIM – Atmosphere Space Interaction Monitor – is the instrument package that in 2017 will be installed on the European Colombus Module on ISS.

ASIM will be used by scientists to study high-altitude electrical discharges in the stratosphere and mesosphere above severe thunderstorms, the so-called red sprites, blue jets, and elves. On its space flight in 2015, the Danish astronaut, Andreas Mogensen, gathered a lot of data in terms of photos and videos of the phenomena that ASIM will observe.

ASIM is the largest space project that Terma has been involved with since the Ørsted satellite and the most complex space project:

“As main contractor, it is Terma’s job to ensure progression in the project and coordinate the many tasks with subcontractors and not least deliver the flight model for integration at NASA and SpaceX on Cape Canaveral in Florida. Here, ASIM will be installed in a Dragon spacecraft that will be launched to ISS with a Falcon 9 rocket from SpaceX”, says Ole Hartnack and continues:

“Development and production of the different parts and systems have been carried out in collaboration with Danish and European companies and universities. In collaboration with DTU Space, we have developed the MMIA instrument that will carry out optical measurements, i.e. take photos of the electrical discharges (lightnings)”.

In collaboration with the universities of Bergen, Valencia, and Warszawa, DTU Space has built the MXGS instrument that measures x-rays and gamma radiation from thunderstorms. It has recently been approved by Terma for integration.

In the coming months, employees from Terma will therefore be with OHB/CGS in Milan to participate in the installation of the instruments and carry out a number of tests of the instruments before the ASIM flight model is packed and made ready for shipment to the U.S. in a specially designed container.

After the launch, Terma will contribute to the ASIM installation on ISS and with the starting up of the observatory. Terma’s experts will support the personnel at the control center in Belgium with calibration and adjustment of the instruments to provide optimum scientific measurements to the scientists at the ASIM Data Science Center in Lyngby.

All together, the ASIM assignment has involved 30-40 Terma employees in a fantastic collaboration between Herlev and Lystrup. The Project Manager job itself has involved around 20 employees. To this must be added the development of the MMIA instrument and on-board software to both MMIA and MXGS.

“With the responsibility of the ASIM project and the newly developed product technology, Terma has built up outstanding experience, so the way to winning similar assignments in the future is much shorter now. We have added more valuable tools to our already well-established tool box”, says Senior Vice President for Terma’s Space Business Area, Carsten Jørgensen.

Read more about ASIM on http://asim.dk

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ASIM instrument

Nils Greir
Vice President, Market Development & Strategy
T: +1 (703) 412-9410
E: nils.greir@termana.com