Measurement and stability of the pointing of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter under thermal load

Gouman, Julien Michel Adrien; Beck, Thomas; Affolter, Michael; Thomas, Nicolas; Geissbühler, Urs; Péteut, Alain; Bandy, Timothy John; Servonet, Anthony; Piazza, Daniele; Seiferlin, Karsten; Ghose, Kaustav (2014). Measurement and stability of the pointing of the BepiColombo Laser Altimeter under thermal load. Acta astronautica, 105(1), pp. 171-180. Pergamon 10.1016/j.actaastro.2014.09.006

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The BepiColombo Laser Altimeter (BELA) has been selected to fly on ESA׳s BepiColombo mission to Mercury. The instrument will be the first European laser altimeter designed for interplanetary flight. This paper describes the setup used to characterize the angular movements of BELA under the simulated environmental conditions that the instrument will encounter when orbiting Mercury. The system comprises a laser transmitter and a receiving telescope, which can move with respect to each other under thermal load. Tests performed using the Engineering Qualification Model show that the setup is accurate enough to characterize angular movements of the instrument components to an accuracy of ≈10 μrad. The qualification instrument is thermally stable to operate during all mission phases around Mercury proving that the transmitter and receiver sections will remain within the alignment requirements during its mission.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Gouman, Julien Michel Adrien, Beck, Thomas, Thomas, Nicolas, Geissbühler, Urs (A), Péteut, Alain, Bandy, Timothy John, Servonet, Anthony, Piazza, Daniele, Seiferlin, Karsten Michael, Ghose, Kaustav


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
600 Technology > 620 Engineering
500 Science > 530 Physics








Cléa Serpollier

Date Deposited:

07 Apr 2015 16:27

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:34

Publisher DOI:





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