The Rømer satellite

Version of this page in Danish.

The Rømer satellite has been selected for a detailed study in the so-called System Definition Phase, as the next project within the Danish Small Satellite Programme. This phase is to start mid-May 2000. The satellite is named after the Danish astronomer Ole Rømer, who among other achievements was the first scientist to the determine the speed of light.

The main instrument on the satellite is MONS (for Measuring Oscillations in Nearby Stars), to observe solar-like oscillations in stars and in this way investigate their interior structure and rotation.

Schematic structure of the satellite

Preliminary sketch of the structure of the satellite, seen from the direction turned towards (left) and away from (right) the Sun. The large cylinder is the MONS main telescope. The somewhat smaller funnel-shaped opening is one of the two star cameras ; the other is pointing in the opposite direction. The thin cylinder is the field monitor. The blue panels are covered with solar cells; on the opposite side the slightly darker rectangle marks the radiator which cools the detector in the MONS telescope. The lid, which is closed during launch, protects the telecope against direct sunlight. (Click on the pictures to see a larger version.)

The total dimensions of the entire satellite are 60 by 60 by 72 cm, and the weight is 84 kg.

Launch and trajectory

It is expected that Rømer will be launched with a Russian Soyuz-Fregate rocket, as a passenger on the launch of a communication satellite. This will bring the satellite into a so-called Molniya orbit, with a period of 12 hours and a largest and smallest distance from the Earth surface of around 40 000 km and 600 km. This orbit allows for observations of stars anywhere in the sky in the course of the planned two-year mission.

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Last updated by Jørgen Christensen-Dalsgaard, Wednesday, February 14, 2001 at 12:44