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The Engineering Impact Awards showcase the most innovative projects based on NI software and hardware.

We are delighted and proud to announce that Metis Automation & ESR Technology have been nominated for a National Instruments Engineering Impact Award, for our work on Sun Explorer: Reliability Testing for The Solar Orbiter Instrumentation’. 

Space mechanism manufacturer ESR Technology were testing the Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment (SPICE) instrument, which performs extreme ultraviolet imaging spectroscopy, to remotely characterize plasma properties of the Sun’s on-disk corona. This can teach us more about the causes of solar flares, the structure of the heliosphere, solar wind, and how the Sun creates its magnetic field.

Space is one of the harshest environments we ever expect our technology to function in. Temperatures can vary wildly and cosmic radiation can cause problems in circuitry. Lubricants that work well on Earth can be entirely ineffective in the vacuum of space. Because of these issues, the key to a successful space exploration mission is reliable and proven components and instruments, since problems are virtually impossible to correct after launch.

Metis Automation’s solution to the problem relied on this flexibility to acquire signals from multiple devices simultaneously. It presents the test operator with a simple interface that requires no knowledge of the instrumentation detail behind the scenes, making it quicker and easier to run the tests.

You can read the full case study here.

The winners of the NI Engineering Impact Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony on 28th November 2016 in London.