February 27, 2017


Science objectives

Odin is a satellite designed for fundamental research. As has been the case throughout our history, Odin gathered very special knowledge - both from space and from our atmosphere.

In aeronomy, Odin studied the atmosphere, particularly the formation and deplation of ozone and how it affects the ozone hole. With more knowledge, we get more answers to important questions like how pollution affects the atmosphere.

in astronomy, the satellite also shed new light on the chemical processes that control the chain of events involved in the formation of new stars. Odin also studied comets which are by-products of new star formation and can give new clues as to how our own solar system was formed.


The Odin spacecraft is designed to study both astronomical objects and the Earth's atmosphere.

Odin worked in unexplored bands of the electromagnetic spectrum, around wavelengths of 0.5 mm and 3 mm. These contain emission lines from important molecules such as water vapour, molecular oxygen, ozone and carbon monoxide. The lines will be used as tools to study processes in the Earth's atmosphere and in astronomical objects. Complementary information on the atmosphere will come from spectral lines at ultraviolet and optical wavelengths. Major scientific issues relate to star formation processes, interstellar chemistry and atmospheric ozone balance.

For aeronomy, the spacecraft followed the Earth limb - scanning the atmosphere up and down from 15 to 120 km at a rate of up to 40 scans per orbit (each scan takes 2 minutes).
When observing astronomical sources, Odin continuously pointed towards the viewed object for up to 60 minutes.

Main orbit characteristics

orbit circular Sun-synchronous
altitude 600 km
ascending node at 18:00
inclination about 98°
orbiting time 97 min (about 15 orbits per day)