A tribute to the Odin satellite and Swedish space technology

A tribute to the Odin satellite and Swedish space technology

The Odin satellite was financed by the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB), Finish Funding Agency for Innovation (TEKES), the CSA Group in Canada, and Le site du Centre d’études spatiales (CNES). It was launched in February 2001, and its design life was two years. Today, after nearly sixteen years, the Odin satellite is still in healthy operation and delivers scientific data on aeronomy and astronomy. It is now operated by OHB Sweden.

Let me cite from Conclusions, about the Odin satellite, in a recent scientific paper (Sandqvist et al. 2016, in Astronomy & Astrophysics) about observations of ammonia in the spiral arms of the Milky Way and the Galactic Centre:

“This demonstrates to our delight (and also to some surprise) that it is possible to build a comparatively cheap, but still rather complicated satellite observatory (with five tunable heterodyne receivers and a mechanical cooling machine) which can remain in high-quality operation for 15 years or more. We should here note that the Odin satellite observatory since many years has been operated practically full-time in global monitoring of the terrestrial atmosphere (the Odin aeronomy mode).”

Roland Karlsson, 23 December 2016


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