Instruments >> VERA

Venus Radio Science

 Led by Univ. der Bunderswehr, Munich , Germany

VeRa uses the powerful radio link between the spacecraft and Earth to investigate the conditions prevalent in the ionosphere of Venus. Scientists will also use it to study the density, temperature, and pressure of the atmosphere from 35–40 km up to 100 km from the surface, and to determine roughness and electrical properties of the surface. It will also allow investigations of the conditions of the solar wind in the inner part of the Solar System.

VeRa (Venus Radio Science) is a radio sounding experiment that is used to examine the ionosphere, atmosphere and surface of Venus by means of radio waves transmitted from the spacecraft, passed directly through the atmosphere or reflected off the planet surface and received by a ground station on Earth.

The instrument is designed to:

  • Perform radio sounding of the Venus ionosphere from an altitude of 80 kilometres to the ionopause (300 - 600 km, depending on solar wind conditions)
  • Perform radio sounding of the neutral atmosphere from the cloud layer (35 - 40 km) to an altitude of around 100 kilometres
  • Determine the dielectric characteristics, roughness and chemical composition of the planetary surface
  • Study the solar corona, extended coronal structures and solar wind turbulence during the inferior and superior solar conjunctions of Venus

VeRa uses the spacecraft's transponder for radio transmission and reception, but generates the transmitted signal using its own Ultra Stable Oscillator (USO). The design of the VeRa USO is derived from that used for the Radio Science Investigation instrument flown on Rosetta.


More info

Other Venus Express Instruments

  • ASPERA (Analyser of Space Plasma and Energetic Atoms)
  • MAG (Venus Express Magnetometer)
  • PFS (Planetary Fourier Spectrometer)
  • SPICAV/SOIR (Ultraviolet and Infrared Atmospheric Spectrometer)
  • VIRTIS (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer)
  • VMC (Venus Monitoring Camera)


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