The REXUS Programme

The REXUS / BEXUS programme is realised under a bilateral Agency Agreement between the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and the Swedish National Space Board (SNSB). The Swedish share of the payload has been made available to students from other European countries through a collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).

EuroLaunch, a cooperation between the Esrange Space Center of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) and the Mobile Rocket Base (MORABA) of DLR, is responsible for the campaign management and operations of the launch vehicles. Experts from ESA, SSC and DLR provide technical support to the student teams throughout the project.

REXUS and BEXUS are launched from Esrange Space Center in northern Sweden.

What is a REXUS project?

Each year, the REXUS/BEXUS programme gives students from universities and higher education colleges across Europe he chance to carry out scientific and technological experiments on research rocket and balloons. Two such rockets and balloons are launched each year, carrying up to 20 experiments designed and built by student teams. Both balloons and rockets are launched from the Swedish Space Corporation's space center Esrange outside Kiruna in northern Sweden.

The SQUID Project

The idea for SQUID and its predecessor LAPLander was born at the Space and Plasma Physics division, SPP, at KTH in Stockholm Sweden, out of the wish for being able to carry out multi-point measurements of conditions in Earth's ionosphere. Such measurements are important for the understanding of the aurora, but also for the planning of space missions and satellite programmes.

Such measurements can be carried out using rockets releasing multiple small probes. As downlinking the data in realtime from the probes would be difficult, the probes would have to be designed to survive reentry and landing for later recovery.

The design of such a probe is the goal SQUID project. The focus is on the design and implementation of the scientific instrumentation of the probes, the most important of which are the four long wire booms for magnetic field measurements. Systems of the same principal design are planned for a number of future missions, but would benefit from further testing. SQUID provides a great opportunity to design a miniature system of this kind, and develop a way to deploy wire booms rapidly while still maintaining stability. However, there are many other engineering challenges to overcome in the project, such as creating a compact power and control system and integrating a reliable parachute-based landing system.