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BepiColombo’s Cruise Phase: Unique Opportunity for Synergistic Observations

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posted on 2021-09-24, 09:36 authored by LZ Hadid, V Génot, S Aizawa, A Milillo, J Zender, G Murakami, J Benkhoff, I Zouganelis, T Alberti, N André, Z Bebesi, F Califano, AP Dimmock, M Dosa, CP Escoubet, L Griton, GC Ho, TS Horbury, K Iwai, M Janvier, E Kilpua, B Lavraud, A Madar, Y Miyoshi, D Müller, RF Pinto, AP Rouillard, JM Raines, N Raouafi, F Sahraoui, B Sánchez-Cano, D Shiota, R Vainio, A Walsh
The investigation of multi-spacecraft coordinated observations during the cruise phase of BepiColombo (ESA/JAXA) are reported, with a particular emphasis on the recently launched missions, Solar Orbiter (ESA/NASA) and Parker Solar Probe (NASA). Despite some payload constraints, many instruments onboard BepiColombo are operating during its cruise phase simultaneously covering a wide range of heliocentric distances (0.28 AU–0.5 AU). Hence, the various spacecraft configurations and the combined in-situ and remote sensing measurements from the different spacecraft, offer unique opportunities for BepiColombo to be part of these unprecedented multipoint synergistic observations and for potential scientific studies in the inner heliosphere, even before its orbit insertion around Mercury in December 2025. The main goal of this report is to present the coordinated observation opportunities during the cruise phase of BepiColombo (excluding the planetary flybys). We summarize the identified science topics, the operational instruments, the method we have used to identify the windows of opportunity and discuss the planning of joint observations in the future.


The CDPP is supported by CNRS, CNES, Observatoire de Paris and Université Paul Sabatier Toulouse, and parts of the aforementioned tools are currently being developed through the Sun Planet Interactions Digital Environment on Request (SPIDER) Virtual Activity of the Europlanet H2024 Research Infrastucture funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871149. B.S.-C. acknowledges support through UK-STFC grants ST/S000429/1 and ST/V000209/1.



Front. Astron. Space Sci. 8:718024. doi: 10.3389/fspas.2021.718024

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School of Physics and Astronomy


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Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences




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