Member partners


DLR is Germany’s national research centre for aeronautics and space. Its extensive research and development work in Aeronautics, Space, Energy, Transport and Security is integrated into national and international cooperative ventures. As Germany’s space agency, DLR has been given responsibility for the forward planning and the implementation of the German space programme by the German federal government.
Approximately 7300 people are employed at 16 locations in Germany. DLR also operates offices in Brussels, Paris, and Washington D.C. DLR’s mission comprises the exploration of Earth and the Solar System and research for protecting the environment. This includes the development of environment friendly technologies for the energy supply and mobility of the future, as well as for communication and security. DLR’s research portfolio ranges from basic research to the development of tomorrow’s products. DLR operates large-scale research facilities for DLR’s own projects and as a service provider for its clients and partners.


The University of Salford (SALF) is one of the leading universities in the UK in the area of virtual environments, telepresence, advanced interfaces and collaborative engineering. The key researchers for this project are from the ThinkLab and the Centre for Virtual Environments and Future Media who have an international reputation in applications in the area of virtual reality technology and applications.
The ThinkLab has been recognized as a “Future Centre” by the future centre community and recently received the “living Lab” status from the European Living Lab Network in recognition of its strong R&D activities with the industry.

ThinkLab has been designed as a future collaborative workspace, incorporating innovative physical spaces (brain storming workspaces, social spaces, and R&D workspaces) with advanced technologies (Powerwall, access grid, augmented reality, multi-touch tables). The Centre for Virtual Environments and Future Media is the leading research centre in Telepresence in the UK and has access to a reconfigurable CAVE-like display, the OCTAVE, to investigate various forms of immersive experiences. Salford’s team has been involved in and provided leadership to many EU projects, such as DIVERCITY, DIVIPRO, FutureHome, Future_Workspaces, Intelcity, CoSpaces, COMRIS, PING.


ALTEC –Aerospace Logistics Technology Engineering Company– is the Italian center of excellence for the provision of engineering and logistics services to support operations and utilization of the International Space Station and the development and implementation of planetary exploration missions. ALTEC is a public-private company owned by the major European space company, Thales Alenia Space and the Italian Space Agency, ASI. ALTEC is based in Turin and has liaison offices at NASA and ESA. ALTEC services ranging from engineering and logistics support, training of astronauts, to support experiments in biomedicine in particular, the processing of scientific data, the development and management of the ground segment of space programs and the promotion of space culture.


Thales Alenia Space (Italia S.p.A. (TAS-I) – Italy (IT)) is one of the two joint ventures companies (the other is Telespazio Holding) obtained by the fusion of Alcatel and Finmeccanica, and subsequent merged into Thales to form the Space Alliance thus creating a New European Space Industry Leader. The common objective is to consolidate leadership in telecommunication satellite systems and services, to acquire a strong position in important European programs, such as Galileo and GMES, and to strengthen space defence and security, observation, exploration and science.
The Thales Alenia Space activities are concentrated on the design, development, and manufacturing of space systems, satellites, payloads, instruments and associated ground systems for civilian and military applications. It has wide experience in the design, development, assembly, integration, verification and testing of complete space systems: satellites for telecommunications and navigation, remote sensing, meteorology and scientific applications; manned systems and space infrastructures; launch, transport and re-entry systems; control centres. The Torino Business Segment Space Infrastructure and Transportation that is leading this research project has developed three Multipurpose Pressurized Logistics Modules (MPLM), two Nodes (2 and 3), Cupola, Columbus scientific laboratory and Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV). It is currently involved in many human and robotic exploration (to Moon and Mars) projects. Since 2003 TAS-I Torino has opened a Collaborative System Engineering Centre called COSE Centre in which are researched Integrated VR/AR and Collaborative Engineering and Model Based System Engineering methodologies technologies. Its activities are concentrated on the definition of requirements, design, prototyping and testing of VERITAS (Virtual Environment Research In TAS) and CE solutions.


The Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) is the main Italian research institution in astronomy and space sciences, employing more than one thousand persons in 12 astronomical observatories and 3 institutes. Namely, the Istituto di Astrofisica e Planetologia Spaziali (IAPS) will be involved in this proposal. IAPS is located in the Rome area and is, for its staff size and scientific production, one of the main laboratories of INAF. It is born in January 2012 from the merging of two historical Institutes in the roman scientific area: the Institute of Space Astrophysics and Cosmic Physics (IASF) and the Institute of Physics of Interplanetary Space (IFSI).
IAPS coordinates the activity of about 200 researchers and is one of the leading actors in the international astrophysical research scene. IAPS activities include: planning and realizing space missions in the field of relativisitic astrophysics and solar system exploration; theoretical and experimental research; advanced technology and instrument development; observations from the Earth; physics of the atmospheres and Space Physics; operating Italian experiments on board Mars Express and other satellites; comparing observations with numerical simulations to validate and improve our knowledge; disseminating this knowledge through publications, web services and public outreach. IAPS has long experience in development of space instruments for planetary exploration VIRTIS/Rosetta, VIR/Dawn, VIMS/Cassini). The group involved has led the PI instrument PFS/MEX and PFS/VEX and built or delivered space hardware as Co-I’s (OMEGA/MEX visual channel). It is also involved in the preparation of the NOMAD/ExoMars instrument. The expertise encompasses observations, such as remote sensing of the characteristics of the atmospheres, as well as atmospheric modelling, and development and implementation of up-to-date radiative transfer codes, including limb geometry and multiple scattering.


The Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BISA) is a federal scientific research institute. Created in 1964, its main tasks are research and public service in space aeronomy, i.e. the physics and chemistry of the atmosphere of the Earth and other planets, and of outer space. BISA activities encompass: the neutral atmosphere from the surface of the planet to the upper layers where escape processes to space have to be taken into account; designing and building instruments to monitor atmospheres and the space environment; comparing observations with numerical simulations to validate and improve our knowledge; turning scientific know-how into services to the benefit of society; disseminating this knowledge through publications, web services and public outreach. BISA has been involved in several Earth observation missions (GOMOS, ACE-FTS, IASI/METOP) and has also acquired extensive expertise in validating Earth remote observations with ground based measurements. The Planetary Aeronomy Division has acquired international recognition in various topics on planetary atmospheres. The expertise encompasses observations, such as remote sensing of the characteristics of the atmospheres, as well as modeling. The BISA team has been involved in space missions (SPICAM/MEX, SPICAV-SOIR/VEX, Rosetta, and NOMAD on ExoMars 2016). In particular BISA is Principal Investigator (PI) for the SOIR/VeX and NOMAD/ExoMars instruments. Spectroscopic remote sensing of the composition of planetary atmospheres relies on laboratory measurements of reference UV, visible and IR spectroscopic data and on the development and implementation of up-to-date radiative transfer codes (including aerosols). Interpretation of the observed data is also based on atmospheric models (Mars GCM, cloud microphysics, etc.).


[Tohoku University] (Sendai, Miyagi, Japan): Atmospheric researches related to Mars and Earth are conducted in the Dep. Geophysics. This group has a long heritage in space sciences from 1970’s, and consists of 3 teams: (1) Space and Terrestrial Plasma Physics (plasma / radio waves, ionosphere, magnetosphere, proto-stellar nebulae), (2) Planetary Atmosphere Phsyics (Atmospheres of Earth, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and exoplanets by radio / IR observations and modelling studies), and (3) Planetary Plasma and Atmospheric Reserch Center (running Radio and Vis/IR observations of the Solar System). For this project, the 2nd group will mainly contribute. This group has provided many spacecraft to ISAS/JAXA for observing terrestrial and planetary atmospheres and magnetospheres (ex. BepiColombo: YK is the PI for Plasma Wave Investigation.). For Mars, this group was one of the main payload supliers for the Nozomi spacecraft (1998-2004, unfortunately, failed). Now, this group is pushing the next Martian mission planned in ISAS/JAXA. Related to this project, this group has collaborated with IAPS (Italy) for Mars Express PFS. It also run Martian observations by open-use telescopes (ex. SUBARU 8m). New telescopes at Haleakala are now developed for this (60cm: First light will be in 2013. 1.8m: First light will be in 2014 or later.). [NICT] (Koganei, Tokyo, Japan): This institute has long heritage for the development of Infrared and Submm technologies and the contribution of related a observation of atmospheric compoistions from space and from ground based infrared and microwave/sub-mm instruments. The atmospheric reserch group in NICT is now conducting infrared / submm terrestrial atmospheric monitoring from ground-based sites and from space. NICT developed SMILES (Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb-Emission Sounder) in collaboation with JAXA, and attached on International Space Station from 2009 ( Retrieval model development is also done in collaboration with some institutions incl. Tohoku University. For Mars, this group proposes a submm sounder for the next Martian mission planned in ISAS/JAXA.


The Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) is a not-for-profit center for engineering, research, and development. Located north of Washington, DC, APL is a division of one of the world's premier research universities, the Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The Civil Space Business Area makes critical contributions to the missions of its major sponsor, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), to meet the challenges of space science. We conduct research and space exploration, and we develop and apply space science, engineering, and technology, including the production of one-of-a-kind spacecraft, instruments, and subsystems. We focus primarily on the science discipline of space physics and planetary science. Through our programs, we're acquiring new knowledge as a result of scientific research and exploration, developing practical applications of new knowledge for societal benefits, and creating new paradigms for space mission implementation.

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