Picard (satellite)

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Type: Solar research satellite
Country: FranceFrance France
Operator: Center national d'études spatialesCNES CNES
COSPAR-ID : 2010-028A
Mission dates
Dimensions: 150 kg
Size: 0.9 × 1.2 × 2.7 m
Begin: June 15, 2010, 12:42:16 UTC
Starting place: Jasny Cosmodrome
Launcher: Dnepr-1
Flight duration: ≈ 2 years
Status: active
Orbit data
Track height: 730 km
Orbit inclination : 98.28 °

Picard is the name of a French solar research satellite belonging to the CNES , which was placed on a Dnepr-1 launcher on June 15, 2010 at 12:42:16 UTC from the Jasny cosmodrome together with the Swedish satellite pair Mango and Tango into a sun-synchronous orbit.


Planning for the construction of the microsatellite began in February 2000. In December 2004, the project was officially approved and development and subsequent testing of the satellite began. The development and test work was completed in early 2009 and the satellite was completed in December 2009. The satellite is named after Jean Picard (1620–1682), who was the first to determine the exact diameter of the sun . The satellite will simultaneously measure the total absolute and spectral radiation strength of the sun, diameter, shape and examine the interior of the sun using helioseismological methods. The measurements over the duration of the entire mission should make it possible to record the fluctuations depending on the solar activity.


The satellite is based on the satellite bus for microsatellite myriad . The stabilization is carried out by star sensors , sun sensors , a magnetometer , gyrometer as well as various magnetic wheels and reaction wheels , whereby an alignment accuracy of 36 arcseconds is achieved. The scientific payload (developed by Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales (LATMOS), the Swiss Space Office and others) from PICARD consists of an imaging telescope, two differential radiometers and three photometers :

  • SOVAP (SOlar VAriability PICARD): consisting of a differential absolute value radiometer and a bolometric sensor for measuring the total solar radiation,
  • PREMOS (PREcision MOnitor Sensor): a set of three photometers for investigating ozone formation and degradation as well as for helioseismological observations and a differential absolute value radiometer for measuring total solar radiation.
  • SODISM (SOlar Diameter Imager and Surface Mapper): an imaging telescope with a CCD sensor for measuring the diameter of the sun and its shape with an accuracy of a few thousandths of an arc as well as for helioseismological observations.
  • PGCU (PICARD Gestion Charge Utile)

The telemetry data amounts to 6 Gbit per day, which is saved with an 8 Gbit memory on board. The expected lifespan for the satellite is more than 2 years.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Successful Launch of PRISMA and PICARD Satellites (Kosmotras)
  2. ^ Dnepr rocket lifts off with satellites for France, Sweden
  3. a b PICARD - Mission dedicated to the study of the Earth 'climate and Sun variability relationship (CNES) ( Memento of the original from May 1, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / smsc.cnes.fr