A low-flying Spacecraft

For The Exploration Of The

Lower Thermosphere - Ionosphere


The Daedalus mission has been proposed to the European Space Agency (ESA) in response to the call for ideas for the Earth Observation programme’s 10th Earth Explorer. It was selected in 2018 as one of three candidates for a Phase-0 feasibility study. The mission design shall allow Daedalus to break through the current spacecraft exploration “barrier” of 150 km and access electrodynamics processes at lower altitudes. Daedalus will perform in-situ measurements of plasma density and temperature, ion drift, neutral density and wind, ion and neutral composition, electric and magnetic fields, and of energetic particles. In line with ESA’s Living Planet Programme, Daedalus constitutes an ambitious programme covering a wide range of observations and measurements that are needed to resolve key energy balance issues in one of the most under-sampled regions of the Earth’s environment: the Lower Thermosphere and Ionosphere (LTI). READ MORE


How the neutral-plasma interactions play out to strongly couple the fluid and plasma dynamics and shape the LTI is poorly understood. This understanding is important for assessing the role of this region in the overall energy budget, dynamics, and chemistry of the Earth-atmosphere system. The knowledge also is critical to developing adequate capabilities to specify and forecast space weather phenomena that occur or originate in this region. In view of the above, the overarching science objective for Daedalus is to Improve our understanding of the energetics, dynamics, and chemistry of the atmosphere-space transition region in the lower thermosphere-ionosphere, and of the neutral-plasma interactions that affect them. READ MORE


May 4, 2021

Daedalus at NASA’s Heliophysics 2050 workshop, 3-7 May, 2021

February 25, 2021

Daedalus at the COSPAR-ISWAT Virtual Meeting Series: G2A Atmosphere Variability, 22-26 February 2021

December 1, 2020

Daedalus at the 5th International Space Debris Re-entry Workshop, 2nd December 2020