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


August 21, 2020

Daedalus at CEDAR Virtual Meeting, June 22-26, 2020

May 19, 2020

Daedalus at EGU General Assembly, Online, 4–8 May 2020

February 12, 2020

Daedalus at COSPAR Scientific Assembly, Sydney, Australia, 28 January–4 February 2021