NASA will be heading to the giant planet Jupiter next year with the aid of a space-qualified frequency synthesizer from Quantic Wenzel. The frequency source will be integrated aboard the Europa Clipper mission, orbiting Jupiter for a detailed exploration of the icy moon Europa.
The frequency synthesizer will be part of a suite of test instruments (see image above) that will analyze the environmental conditions of Europa to determine whether life of any kind is possible beneath its icy crust layer, where water or other liquid may be found. The Europa Clipper mission is scheduled to be launched in 2023.
Regarding working with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on the frequency synthesizer for the mission, Jigar Shah, Director of Business Development at Quantic Wenzel, said, “Our support of the Europa Clipper mission is another exciting step in our work with JPL.”
He added, “Wenzel is widely known as a company that RF engineers come to when they need to solve their unique frequency reference and timing challenges for space applications.” The synthesizer will support a radar system capable of penetrating ice as far as 18 miles deep in search of fluids underneath.