Artist’s conception of a coronal mass ejection reaching out towards Earth.

Mission Overview

SMILE (Solar wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer) will investigate the interaction between the Earth's magnetosphere and the supersonic solar wind. The mission is expected to make an important contribution to our understanding of space weather and, in particular, the physical processes taking place during the continuous interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere. It will provide simultaneous images and movies of the magnetopause, the polar cusps, and the auroral oval. The instrument payload includes X-ray and ultraviolet imagers to study global distributions of auroras, along with instruments to measure the energetic particles in the solar wind, and changes in the local magnetic field.

Contribution of our Team

We will provide the SMILE DPU for the SXI (Soft X-Ray Instrument), which is the primary instrument of the mission. The corresponding hardware will be built by IWF Graz. The strong reuse of our CHEOPS developments lead to a ~30% saving in our costs!

Involved Personnel

Management, Science Lead: F. Kerschbaum, M. Güdel

Development Lead: R. Ottensamer

Consortium Members: F. Kerschbaum, M. Güdel, R. Ottensamer

WP Lead "DPU HW": R. Ottensamer

Team: M. Güdel, F. Kerschbaum, A. Luntzer, M. Mecina, R. Ottensamer, C. Reimers

Next important Milestones

Launch Date: 2025



Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS)


SMILE mission homepage

SMILE Mission (Chinese Academy of Sciences)

SMILE: ESA activities