Aurora Technology’s engineers and scientists support ESA’s Directorate of Science and Robotic Exploration. They contribute to the Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 via various means as an integrated part of the Advanced Studies and Technology Preparation Division. In preparation for the Cosmic Vision call for proposals in 2007, Aurora supported the Technology Reference Studies, which provided a means to identify the types of technologies likely to be of relevance to a wide range of scientific missions of the future.
Aurora assisted in the evaluation of the 50 mission concept proposals received in 2007 which resulted in 5 M-class and 3 L-class missions being selected for assessment studies. The assessment studies were performed in conjunction with industry and in February 2010 EUCLID, PLATO and Solar Orbiter were approved by the ESA’s Science Programme Committee to enter the definition phase. Aurora currently supports the payload issues for two of the three L-class missions EJSM/Laplace, a mission to Jupiter, and IXO/Xeus, the next generation X-ray telescope.
Exploration is another focus and Aurora also supports the development of new technologies for future missions to Mars, one aspect being the capability to capture and return uncontaminated samples of the Mars surface to Earth.
A further aspect of our support services is managing the "overview of the technology status" and organizing which technologies need to be progressed. This is completed using the TechMAT tool which has been developed by Aurora. Aurora is also involved in monitoring industrial studies to further enhance the usability of technologies in space.