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Key-contribution by TAS to Exomars 2020 mission to ESA

The IMU will enable the Rover’s navigation on Mars

Thales Alenia Space (TAS) in the UK achieves the major milestone of delivering its IMU Flight Models to Airbus Defence and Space in UK for integration with the ExoMars Rover. Exomars is a project under international cooperation between ESA (European Space Agency) and Roscosmos (Russian Space Agency), Thales Alenia Space, Joint-Venture between Thales (67 %) and Leonardo (33 %) is the prime-contractor for the global program. The Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) designed by TAS in the UK has been delivered for integration in to the ExoMars Rover mission, scheduled to launch in July 2020 and arrive at Mars nine months later. The ExoMars Rover will be the first to drill 2 meters down the red planet’s surface, to look for traces of past or present life and retrieve samples. The IMU enables the Rover’s navigation during its mission, providing critical data on its orientation, speed and direction. Designed, built and tested in Thales Alenia Space’s facilities in Bristol, UK, these next generation IMU’s utilise a new modular concept that provides 3 axis orientation, angular rate, velocity and acceleration measurement. The technology development incorporates very high performance Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMs) which have been qualified for spaceflight, the technology is also being advanced by TAS for use in satellite constellations and geostationary satellite communications.

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