VZLU is participating in program SWARM

On 7th March 2008 VZLU concluded a contract with EADS Austrium to manufacture one testing and three flying pieces of micro accelerometers for SWARM, an ESA´s mission (European Space Agency). It is the first big contract of a Czech company to supply an apparatus to ESA. Its complexity is evident from the fact that another fourteen organizations apart from VZLU cooperate. The SWARM mission (launch schedule 2010) is to take measures of Earth geomagnetic field – intensity, direction and time oscillation – employing a constellation of three satellites.

VZLU first took on space work in the 70s when it participated in the design of TS1/2-M, a device to record ionosphere data and low frequency electro-magnetic waves in the magneto-sphere as part of the Intercosmos programme. At the end of the 80s VZLU carried out tests on the stabilized platform ASPG-M intended to instrument assembly designed for geophysical and astrophysical research. The ASPG-M stabilized platform, which was developed at VPZ-VÚ Běchovice, was used in Vega 1, Vega 2, and Kvant-2 projects on an international space station Mir. In that time period VZLU conducted vibration tests on Incubator-2 container designed for research into effect of space radiation on living organism for programme Sojuz TM-9.

VZLU did not work on new space programmes until after a ten years´ pause. In 2003 the Institute carried out mechanical tests on the Mimosa satellite, which was developed by the Astronomical Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Science. Currently, the main VZLU capacities in the field of astronautics are oriented to the SWARM project as mentioned above. Another activity now under way in this field is a new project TEASAR, whose main goal is to test a micro-accelerometer model on a Russian satellite Universat.