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The PROBA2 mission

PROBA2PROBA2 is an ESA micro-satellite launched on November 2, 2009.

PROBA stands for 'PRoject for Onboard Autonomy', which is part of  ESA's in-orbit Technology Demonstration programme. Following up on the success of PROBA1, PROBA2 hosts 17 new technological developments and 4 scientific instruments. Among the platform elements and experiments to be technologically demonstrated on PROBA2 are the new powerful ADPMS on-board computer, AOCS subsystems, highly integrated avionics and power units, a star tracker, sun sensors, a propulsion subsystem, Li-ion batteries, reaction wheels and an advanced stellar compass.

The science payload on-board PROBA2 consists of two main solar instruments (SWAP and LYRA) and two instruments to observe the space environment in the immediate vicinity of the spacecraft (DSLP and TPMU). With these instruments we aim at identifying and studying all events on the Sun that might have implications on the solar-terrestrial connection, both through imaging (SWAP) as well as through irradiance measurements (LYRA). In particular, the focus of the PROBA2 mission is the genesis and evolution of events that can affect space weather, such as coronal mass ejections, EUV waves, EUV dimmings, and solar flares. However, PROBA2 also provided wide-field observations of the large-scale evolution of the solar corona and the long-term variation of its total irradiance.

The PROBA-2 nominal mission was originally planned for two years which would end in October 2011. However, in November 2010, ESA's Science Programme Committee extended the mission until December 2012. A study carried out in early 2010 confirmed the orbital suitability of the spacecraft until at least 2019. To date, all mission and science critical systems and subsystems work nominally, thus there are no technological constraints on the mission duration.