The Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) for the BepiColombo mission to Mercury: status of the calibrations activities on ground and in-flight.
Santoli F., Fiorenza E., Iafolla V.A., Lefevre C., Lucchesi D.M., Lucente M., Magnafico C., Peron R.
The ESA mission BepiColombo represents a challenging programme aimed at the exploration of the planet Mercury and its space environment with unprecedented precision and accuracy. The Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) is an high-sensitivity instrument designed to measure very small accelerations and has been selected to fly on board the forthcoming BepiColombo mission. ISA is part of the ensemble of instruments which will perform the so-called Radio Science Experiments to study the planet gravitational field, its internal structure and rotational state, as well as to verify some of the predictions of Einstein's theory of general relativity. The concept and design of ISA are described, along with important calibration and performance evaluation activities.