On last October, 20th, the Bepi-Colombo mission was successfully launched from the French Guyana with the Ariane 5 vehicle.
Bepi-Colombo is the first European mission to Mercury, which will provide, starting from 2025 – date of arrival at Mercury – measurements to allow unprecedented studies of composition, origin and dynamics of Mercury’s exosphere and polar deposits and structure and dynamics of Mercury’s magnetosphere.
Among the instruments mounted on-board Bepi-Colombo, SERENA (Search for Exosphere Refilling and Emitted Neutral Abundances) is a single experiment composed by 4 sensors devoted to the detection of neutral and ionized particles in the Hermean environment. It addresses some of the main scientific objectives of the Bepi-Colombo mission such as exosphere composition and spatial distribution and dynamics, search for exo-ionosphere and its relation with neutral atmosphere, surface release processes, atmosphere/magnetosphere exchange and transport processes and escape, source/sink balance, geochemical cycles.
In the frame of SERENA, OHB Italia has been awarded a Prime Contractor role with ASI as responsible for the whole SERENA instruments suite integration and testing. Moreover, OHB Italia in collaboration with AMDL, has designed and manufactured the ELENA sensor as well as the SERENA SCU (Sensor Control Unit), heart of the SERENA suite, which controls and manage data to and from all the other instruments.